ninth symphony films - movie reviews

MARCI X (2003)

DIRECTOR  -  richard benjamin

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  73 minutes

RELEASED  -  22 august 2003

DISTRIBUTOR  -  paramount pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  marci x

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $20,000,000
marci x - a shot from the film


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a jewish-american princess is forced to take control of a hard-core hip-hop record label and tries to rein the one of the label's most controversial rappers.

this movie was shot in 2001 and wasn't released until 2003.


picture from marci x

picture from marci x


zero out of four possible stars

The Horror Of It All. That's what this film should have been titled. In what has got to be the most unfunny example of comedy gone wrong, Marci X takes a boatload of tired stereotypes and slams over them with steamroller ensuring that whatever comedy might have present a decade ago (when this film might have been more appropriate) is squished out of existence. The characters, dialogue, and story of this film are nothing less than preposterous. Labeling those elements "completely unbelievable" would be a gross understatement. Perhaps the understatement of the year.

Nevermind the fact that Damon Wayans plays his role overly effeminet, his rap star character, "Dr. S" has absolutely no credibility as an actual human being. It's like his character is part of a "Saturday Night Live" skit gone horribly wrong. There is no good explanation why a group of filmmakers would create a film this mundane on purpose. And it shall always be a complete mystery as to why this film was even put into theaters in the first place. It's not worth watching on the small screen as it is and it must have been a dark day at Paramount Pictures when this film was given a release date.

Although Lisa Kudrow has made a name for herself as one of the ditzy girls on the tired NBC sitcom, "Friends," her performance in this film won't kill her career, but it certainly won't boost it either. Her performance isn't bad, per se, it's just unbelievable. Her character is ludicrious, to put it mildly, and has no direction. While "Marci X" has the admirable goal of saving her father's company in the face of her father's want of a son instead for the job, the way she goes about saving the company is just stupid. The motive behind her actions might ring true, but the actions themselves (such as rapping about fashion designers at a "Showtime at the Apollo" like performance) don't create the laughs they should.

And neither does the dialogue. In what might be the worst hour and a half of one liners yet, the writers of Marci X have done their level best to make sure no one in the audience will be laughing at any of their poorly scripted jokes. It may be that some of the dialogue was improvised and the editor might have taken some of the entertainment out of the film, but it doesn't seem like the director and actors had much of a product to work with in the first place. At the heart of a film is its script and the script for Marci X is just brainless. "Lamebrain" comedy can be entertaining sometimes (many Jackie Chan movies use this technique rather successfully), but not when it's performed without an ounce of finesse.

Lisa Kudrow might be hilarious (to some audiences) in "Friends," but she doesn't fit well in this film's idea of comedy. Her "Phoebe" routine has worked for her on the small screen, but it doesn't translate well into feature film. And though it might be hard to believe, Damon Wayans seems even more out of his element in this film than does Kudrow. His high-pitched voice aside, his character is an insult to any singer or songwriter who has ever tried to change the stereotypes of Black American society.

This "Puff Daddy" routine might have scored a few laughs about a decade ago or as a five minute SNL skit (thereby keeping it to a bearable five minutes), but his character is just lame in the context of 2003. Hip-hop and rap has moved into the mainstream and this movie makes it seem like rap albums don't find their largest source of support from white teenagers in the suburbs.

The bottom line: Avoid this movie at all costs. This film should not have made it out of the can. The filmmakers unfortunate enough to be connected with this project should have striken their names from the record and denied their connection with the production. The original negative and all the resulting copies should be burned. This film warrents the title, "Worst Film of 2003." And even though 2003 has yet to run its course, it's a good bet that no film will come in lower on the scale of filmic decency than Marci X. It bears not a single intelligent word in any one of its excruciating eight-seven minutes. Potential viewers should avoid this film like the plague.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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