Some of the best comedy provocatively pushes the envelope, and when done well, it can allow us to not take life too seriously. But sometimes it can go really wrong, and feel less like a keen observation and more just mean-spirited. There is a thin line that certain comedic movies walk between hilarious and offensive. As Tropic Thunder, with all its controversies, hits the theaters, I was reminded of other comedies in recent years that were met with some protest. Controversy doesn't always affect ticket sales, though sometimes over-the-line comedy seems to influence the way a movie is received. To see some examples, just hit "Start."
- Dennis Quaid has filed a lawsuit against the makers of Heparin, the drug that was accidentally over administered to his newborn twins, because the containers on the two doses look so similar it's easy to mix them up. Thankfully the Quaid twins are both doing well after the terrifying incident. — TMZ
- Charges have been dropped against Jonathan Rhys Meyers after he was arrested at the Dublin airport last month on charges of public drunkenness. Jonathan is having a pretty hard month after his arrest and the death of his mother, so we just hope that he's okay. — AP
- If the writers strike continues long enough, some Showtime series, like Dexter or Weeds, may be shown on CBS. Good timing, since most of our favorite shows are running out of episodes! — BuzzSugar
- Actress Jill Hennessey and her husband Paolo Mastropietro welcomed their second son on Nov. 21, named Gianni. She was originally thinking she'd go with an Irish name but it looks like they chose otherwise. Congrats to the happy family! — People
- Tara Reid, whose main source of income these days seems to be getting paid to party, has dropped her appearance fee from $30,000 to $3,500. Guess she has to take what she can get these days. — Page Six
After the success of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen isn't planning to lay low. He has two more big movies in mind, the first of which will focus on his fashion reporter character "Bruno" from "The Ali G Show." Bruno's style is obviously different from Borat's, but they share the same m.o.: to get people to say offensive, controversial or downright stupid things by asking out-of-left-field questions. Bruno was the character who first won me over when I started watching "Ali G," and the segment where he goes to a fashion show is worth a watch.
After Bruno, Cohen hopes to do a comedy titled Dinner for Schmucks, a remake of the French film Le Diner de Cons. Apparently the story focuses on "a weekly dinner party held by a Paris publisher who challenges his friends to bring the most pathetic guest to the gathering." According to Variety, "Cohen will play a character blessed with such extraordinary schmuckiness that he can destroy the personal life of anyone with whom he comes in contact." Something tells me Cohen was born to play that part.
Up next we can catch Cohen in Sweeney Todd this December, playing Signor Adolfo Pirelli, the rival to Johnny Depp's Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Hot.
- Reuters reports on the mixed reactions polygamists have toward HBO's series "Big Love."
- According to NME, No Doubt are heading into the studio without Gwen Stefani.
- But Fergie promises fan that the Black Eyed Peas will be back.
- Reuters brings us news that Sean Connery will not be in the fourth Indiana Jones movie, claiming "retirement is just too damned much fun."
- Variety says the cast for Mel Brooks' next musical, "Young Frankenstein" will include Megan Mullally and Roger Bart, among others.
- Spike Lee will direct a WWII drama titled Miracle at St. Anna, according to Variety.
- A businessman who ran away from Sacha Baron Cohen in the Borat movie has joined the ranks of people suing the filmmakers, E! Online reports.
- Pitchfork has tour dates from Spoon, Modest Mouse, and Feist.
Remember Austin Powers-sclerosis, afflicting all wannabes with the urge to say stuff like "Do I make you horny, baby, yeah, do I?!" There's a new disease in town: Borat-itus. All walks of celebrity, from Donald Trump to Susan Sarandon to Marilyn Manson, came together in this video to warn against this addictive form of unfunny that has taken the world by storm. Just say no.
- Media Post has the apology Fox issued about the "American Idol" running late.
- Variety says we now need another new Capone, since Nicolas Cage will not be in the Untouchables prequel.
- The Hollywood Reporter has the TV season's overall ratings results. And "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" ranked higher than "Ugly Betty."
- Zap2it has the scoop on next season's potential new "Heroes."
- Fox is making a movie of The Sims computer game, Variety reports.
- Lollapalooza has launched a contest for bands to win performing slots at this summer's festival, says NME.
- Sandra Bullock is back to doing the romantic comedy thing, having been cast in Proposal in which she'll go all Mrs. Robinson-y on some young male thing, Variety reports.
- Borat will pen a travel guide to the United States and Kazakhstan, E! reports.
Photo courtesy of Fox
Last week I invited you all to Buzzworthy the movies you've watched with your parents (or grandparents, or in-laws) that just made you cringe, slump down in your seat, or pretend to yawn, stretch and call it a night. There were some great Buzzworthied DVDs, as well as many comments about embarrassing movie experiences. Check out some of the titles bookmarked by Buzz readers, and then a few "highlights" (if you can call them that!) from the comments section of last week's Buzzworthy challenge.
I couldn't agree more with this selection from Fab_Kitty, who writes "I love this movie, but can't think of any flick more embarrassing to watch with older family members. Be sure Grammy knows this movie isn't about a sweet Doris Day-type heroine!"
More embarrassment if you read more
The most intriguing news comes from the sketchiest sources: The UK's Daily Mirror is "reporting" that Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen will be playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the singer's life. This comes as a surprise since months ago it was confirmed that Johnny Depp would be playing Mercury in a biopic and, well, nobody pushes Johnny out of a role! So, while this news may or may not be true, it got me thinking... which actor would make a better Freddie Mercury?