Marci X

What the heck happened to Lisa Kudrow? At one point she was the only member in the cast of Friends who could consistently pick good film roles. With recent movies like Analyze That, the so-so Dr. Dolittle 2, and now the piece of junk known as Marci X, she is losing out to a newly rejuvenated Jennifer Aniston. Hey, maybe there can only be one good Friends actor in film at any given point in time. Marci X sat on studio shelves for quite some time before being dumped in the middle of August, both not very good signs. Kudrow raps, which is another bad sign. The worst sign of all is that the film is perhaps two decades late.

Marci X takes an absurdist look at a Senator crusading against obscene rap lyrics. The Mary Ellen Sprinkle (Christine Baranski, Chicago, The Guru) is like a hyperactive Tipper Gore, in her life before her husband hit became Vice President. Gore led a pretty successful campaign against violent lyrics in rock music, and years later the same thing would surface in rap. However, this is a comedy and the lyrics of Dr. S (Damon Wayans, Bamboozled, Goosed) lame and tedious. They would easily find their place on pop radio, most likely as novelty hits. Since the film is rated R, why stop at these stupid lyrics? Real rappers are saying things that are even worse, both in terms of violence and sex. And when real rappers land in jail for assault and murder, it makes Dr. S seem like a trifle.

Sheltered Marci Feld (Kudrow) finds herself in the middle of this political brouhaha because she is the daughter of Ben Feld (Richard Benjamin, Lift, Deconstructing Harry), who owns the record label Dr. S is on. Sprinkle's attacks force Ben into the hospital, but not before he tells Marci that he wishes he had a son so that she wouldn't have to worry. This is a wake up call to Marci, and she decides to go to Dr. S and ask him to change his lyrics, because they are so naughty. The first embarrassing moment is when, against all logical reason, Marci decides to confront Dr. S in the middle of a concert. This leads to her trying to rap in front of all his hardcore fans. It is an awful rap about her designer clothes.

Benjamin, who also directed, and writer Paul Rudnick (Isn't She Great, In & Out) purposely make this song bad, just to show the complete difference between Marci and Dr. S. Still, there is a difference between funny bad and just plain bad, and everything in Marci X falls into the latter. What follows is a strange romance between the two, as Dr. S proves to Marci that he does has real feelings and is smart, and Marci proves to Dr. S that she can be hip. Marci's friends seem open to the idea, but Dr. S's friends and fans oppose it. Ben is conveniently in a coma, which means that at some point he will wake up and be shocked all over again. The viewer will wish that he/she is in a coma along with Feld after watching Marci X. It is too tame to be biting, and much too lame to be funny. Just when one thinks it cannot get any worse, it does, and ends in a moronic courtroom ad lib. The one good thing about this film is that it ends.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 37 minutes, Rated R for language and sexual content.

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