In defense of Envy

Rotten Tomatoes released their Top 100 Worst Movies of the Decade on Friday.

Immediately, my mind asked: How many of the worst movies of the decade are in MY DVD collection? I mean, what does it say about me as a person if I own a truly horrible movie? If High Fidelity taught us anything, it taught us that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like. So I searched the list.

And there it was, lo and behold, number 74: Envy.

Not only do I own this movie, but I think I saw it in the theater with movie buddy Paul. This means I have seen it AT LEAST twice. Now, my honor is at stake. Let me defend this 2004 Ben Stiller-Jack Black-Christopher Walken gem. I’ll have to watch it again this week, but my immediate memory of it is that, while thin on plot and heavy laughs, there’s still plenty to like. For instance:

  • Christopher Walken. Just look at him. He’s funny.
  • Jack Black. He’s wacky. He’s just got that body and mannerisms that draw laughter. And though the performance is over the top (think Jim Carrey-Ace Ventura on speed), he can still draw an amused grin. Right?
  • And though this isn’t Ben Stiller’s best performance (a la Mystery Men), and he has awful hair, he does a pretty swell slow burn.
  • The overall message is nice: true friendship overlooks wrongs. Even though Ben Stiller is jealous of Jack Black and treat him rotten, Jack still reaches out to him, oblivious to the slights.
  • Plus this is the movie that gave us the line: “Va-POO-rize.” Nine times out to 10, poo jokes are funny. In the comic pantheon, they are on par with the crotch hit. They always draw a reaction. Say it “Va-POO-rize.” Use it in a sentence and try not to smile.

Anyway, that’s my defense. Go ahead, show me my flaws. But, here’s the complete list and I dare you to search and ask: How many of these stinkers have made their way into your collection? What can you say in their defense?

Whiteout (2009), Glitter (2001), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Boat Trip (2005), All About Steve (2009), Lost Souls (2000), The New Guy (2002), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Babylon A.D. (2008), Surviving Christmas (2004).

Dragonfly (2002), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Kaena: The Prophecy (2004), Testosterone (2003), Pavilion of Women (2001), Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006), Thr3e (2007), Doogal (2006), Supercross: The Movie (2005), Extreme Ops (2002).

Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), Deck the Halls (2006), Date Movie (2006), Johnson Family Vacation (2004), Son of the Mask (2005), Envy (2004), Gigli (2003), Broken Bridges (2006), College (2008).

New Best Friend (2002), The Cookout (2004), Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie (2004), The Hottie and the Nottie (2008), The Fog (2005), Swept Away (2002), Corky Romano (2001), Yours, Mine, & Ours (2005), Serving Sara (2002), Good Luck Chuck (2007).

The Perfect Man (2005), 88 Minutes (2008), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Godsend (2004), Because I Said So (2007), The Celestine Prophecy (2006), Harry & Max (2005), Modigliani (2005), The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2005), Fascination (2005).

Dirty Love (2005), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008), BloodRayne (2006), Soul Survivors (2001), Material Girls (2006), My Baby’s Daddy (2004), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun0Li (2009), Darkness (2003), House of the Dead (2003), Zoom (2006).

Down to You (2000), Miss March (2009), Happily N’Ever After (2007), Code Name: The Cleaner (2007), The Whole 10 Yards (2004), Deal (2008), The Haunting of Mary Hartley (2008), Delta Farce (2007), Deuces Wild (2002), The Covenant (2008).

Fear Dot Com (2002), Bless the Child (2000), Rollerball (2002), Battlefield Earth (2000), Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008), Texas Rangers (2001), The In Crowd (2000), Disaster Movie (2008), Epic Movie (2007).

Crossover (2006), Half Past Dead (2002), The Master of Disguise (2002), Twisted (2004), Daddy Day Camp (2007), Alone in the Dark (2005), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009), Constellation (2007), Killing Me Softly (2002), Merci Docteur Rey! (2002).

Witless Protection (2008), Redline (2007), 3 Strikes (2000), Strange Wilderness (2008), Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004), National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2004), King’s Ransom (2005), Pinocchio (2002), One Missed Call (2008), Ballistic: Eks vs. Sever (2002).


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