Semi-Pro? It's not even semi-funny


Last updated at 18:14 29 February 2008

Anyone wishing to understand the true nature of modern Hollywood would do well to study not the Academy Awards of Sunday night, but the lesser-known, far more honest Razzies, or Golden Raspberries, awarded the night before.

In these awards for inverse achievement, Eddie Murphy won a record three prizes for his miserably unfunny acting in Norbit, picking up Worst Actor (as the title character), Worst Supporting Actress (as Norbit's shrewish wife) and Worst Supporting Actor (as an elderly Chinaman).

And before we get too complacent about American bad taste, bear in mind that this ugly, foul-mouthed comedy topped the box office charts in the UK, as well as America.

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Unfunny: Will Ferrell flops in Semi-Pro, already a contender for one of the year's worst films

The other major "winner" at the Razzies was the drink-and-drug-addled Lindsay Lohan, named Worst Screen Couple for her dual role in I Know Who Killed Me, a peculiarly demented example of torture porn.

Unfortunately, both offerings are far more typical of Hollywood's current output than the relatively uncommercial movies that the Academy chose to honour as representative of its product.

As if to rub in that uncomfortable truth, this week brought us three alleged comedies that, even though this is the beginning of March, will undoubtedly be among the biggest stinkers of 2008.

The most high-profile of these is Semi-Pro (the others are The Accidental Husband and The Baker), which stars a floundering Will Ferrell as the owner-coach-captain of a Seventies basketball team.

Last year's ice-skating comedy, Blades Of Glory, and his family-friendly hit Elf proved that, with a decent script, Ferrell can be funny - but not here.

It's a bad sign when so many of the gags involve vomiting, urination or the huge, ungainly Ferrell shouting and running about with his arms flailing.

If you don't believe me, watch the trailer. There isn't a laugh in that either.

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