Bad Writing With Good Acting

As Jeff and I were driving back from a late night (Mario) party, we drove by the Union Transfer which is concert hall for rock events. It was about 32 degrees out and a concert just let out so people were all over the sidewalks. Jeff said that he’d always wanted to pick someone up and charge them less than a taxi would (what!). I than thought of picking up some randoms and having them think we were going to drive them somewhere and than jacking their stuff. This lead to the idea of us picking them up and reversing it so the strangers would hold us up. The weapon in this reverse stick up would be humorous and some funky object like a pen or slingshot. As we pondered this scenario it made me think that people who create Movies and TV shows are just constantly thinking of funny scenarios like this (I’m sure not everyone would think it’s funny). Good writing comes from this idea of being able to create scenarios which are both entertaining and tell a story. The good actors are the ones who can take a scenario as described and make it good. This brought about the idea that the best actors are the ones who can take mediocre writing and still make it better than the thousands of other actors out there. These are the people who deserve the awards.

Bad Writing with Good Acting
(I hope it’s not a surprise these are mostly comedy’s)

5. Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite
Turn it Off! Turn it Off!
This story isn’t completely awful but the movie surrounds a geekish kid in the Midwest who runs for school President. It’s not a good plot and not much really happens throughout the movie but Jon Heder makes you enjoy watching Napoleon. He is the reason this movie is popular. If you didn’t laugh at that time traveling scene with the crystals…

4. Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura
Ray Finkle’s obsession with Dan Marino causes him to steal a dolphin and kidnap Marino in order to ruin the Dolphin’s Superbowl chances. I can’t see this idea coming to life with Will Ferrell being Ace Ventura. Carrey steals the show in every single aspect with his wackiness and oddball humor. I have to add though that he couldn’t overcome the writing of When Nature Calls so this ridiculous plot was far superior than 2. Nice scene.

3. Zach Galifinakis in The Hangover
Alan and the Wolfpack quote
I don’t particularly like Alan’s character (it tries too hard) but I can’t deny he was the best part of the first hangover. Over the top from every possible angle must rely on good acting because people don’t fall for bullshit. Stu and Phil are just Alan’s counterparts to this movie. Without the goofiness of Alan, this movie doesn’t have a part 2 and soon to be 3. Hard to perfect dumbness.

2. Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges becomes The Dude
The plot to this movie is so horrendous that it’s good. The realism to the situation is acted out perfectly by Jeff Bridges. He’s a laid back guy who gets caught up in a unique situation with his hair trigger friend Walter. His acting is what brings the entire movie together because the Dude makes you like The Dude. Shut the Fuck up Donny!

1. Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa
Willie Stokes is Bad Santa
I”m sort of partial here because I find the movie verbiage hilarious but this is the stupidest movie possible. An alcoholic and his midget partner rob malls. That’s it. A funny fat kid does some nice support but this movie has no substance whatsoever. Billy Bob envelopes Willie Stokes. It was the part he was born to play. This movie would get negative stars compared to the minimum 1 it received with Billy Bob at the helm. How to deal with a kid asking too many questions.

Honorable Mention

Ben Stiller in Zoolander – The male model plot line gives him some flexibility.
Mike Myers in Austin Powers – Austin Powers has good lines which makes him funny.