I’m a man of some taste, depending on who you ask. (You never know; I have a lot of enemies out there.) I like simple things, like John Wick having a samurai sword fight on motorcycles or the inner workings of a complicated relationship. Do you know what I don’t like? Absurd romances, rudderless comedies, and cheap attempts at money or notoriety. Each of the films in this list of the worst movies of May 2019 has at least one of those elements, and I had to suffer through all of them.
I suffer for my craft. Thanks a lot, Obama.
Let’s take a look at the worst movies of May 2019:
#3: The Sun is Also a Star
Honestly, I really like the two leads in The Sun is Also a Star: Charles Melton and Yara Shahidi. They have an undeniable chemistry that I’m sure will light a fire under many romance enthusiasts. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think these two were a solid match for each other.
But let’s strip away the romantic energy at the center of this movie and think about the mechanics of the story: a young man attempts to get a girl to fall in love with him in just one day before she is deported. Just by having some sort of working knowledge of how romance movies work, you can imagine how this story plays out.
I hate to be the cynical one in the room, but if you’re falling head over heels for someone in a matter of hours, then you are in no shape to date as you clearly don’t understand how human relationships work. Everything in The Sun is Also a Star falls back on this insane premise, and suffers as a result.
Also, The Sun is Also a Star might take the cake for the worst movie title of 2019. Before you pounce on me, I’m aware that the film is based on a bestselling book. Still, the title isn’t nearly as enlightening or thought-provoking as it hopes it is. It’s just…a fact. Yes, the sun is, in fact, also a star. Thanks a lot for stating the obvious, movie.
#2: The Hustle
I’ve stuck my neck out for Rebel Wilson plenty of times since she burst onto the scene with a hilarious supporting performance in Pitch Perfect. She has a delightfully quick wit and a knack for improvisation, two things that are absolutely vital in making good comedy in 2019. But after The Hustle, I think I’ve just about tapped out on anything Rebel-centric for awhile. She’s still a talented performer when given the right material in which she can find the correct balance between following the script and improvisation, but I’m not so sure her representation and she can choose the right projects. I hate to say it, but she’s downright obnoxious in this movie. And I can’t say that Anne Hathaway is much better as her counterpart, sporting a hilariously cartoonish British accent.
Watching The Hustle is the very definition of watching a car wreck in slow motion: none of the comedy works, and it’s stretched out to what feels like an eternity to fill in for the lack of a plot with any sort of thrust. There’s nothing else to this movie, and it’s difficult to understand why it exists in the first place except to capitalize off of whatever memories you have of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, if you even have any.
I’ve had many embarrassing moments as an adult film critic when getting tickets to movies that clearly aren’t fit for my demographic. Sherlock Gnomes was a tough one, and Show Dogs might have been even worse. But I think I hit a new low with UglyDolls, a movie that was scientifically engineered to make anyone over the age of 12 who sees it in a theater feel like they should probably be on some sort of watchlist.
I’m partially kidding, of course, as a solid film should be able to make some sort of impact on anyone who watches it. However, UglyDolls is far too concerned with launching a toy line to make anything worthwhile. Honestly, it feels like the producers assembled whatever group of singers they could get to say yes to the project (why else would you put Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Bebe Rexha, Nick Jonas, Charli XCX, Janelle Monáe, and Pitbull in the same movie together?), had those singers create gutless, fake songs about believing in oneself, then found a screenwriter for hire to toss a script together around them. Nothing about this movie is genuine; it’s only nauseating peppiness and D-rate animation.
In Case You (Or I) Missed It
Along with the atrocities above, a few more films made my skin crawl for various reasons. Let’s take a look:
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
This Ted Bundy flick made waves at Sundance and on Netflix when it dropped, though I struggle to figure out why this was the case. Perhaps it was its lurid premise: trying to dive into the mind of one of the world’s most notorious killers will certainly turn heads. But when looking at Extremely Wicked as a film and not marketing ploy for more Netflix subscribers, outside of a solid performance from Zac Efron, it’s entirely a wash.
Shockingly, Will Smith is not the problem with Disney’s update of Aladdin — though his blue CGI is still horrifying. The problem is deeply rooted in something that Disney has been toying with a lot in the modern era: memberberries. For those aren’t South Park-inclined, allow me to translate: the need to dabble in nostalgia. 2019’s Aladdin is fully reliant on conjuring up all those comfortable feelings that the original created, and severely fumbles any attempt at something new. It’s never about something tangible unless that “something” is making serious amounts of money.
The Last Summer
The Last Summer is about as wrong-headed of a rom-com as you can get, where no one can function outside of having a relationship with someone else or without having sex. That notion might make for a great high school satire if put in the hands of a creative screenwriter, but The Last Summer is about as earnest as you can get, and not even KJ Apa or Maia Mitchell’s good looks can save it.
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I’ve managed to not see any of your Top 3 yet but I do plan on seeing The Hustle at some point, probably once it’s on Netflix.
If you’re going to see The Hustle, I strongly recommend not paying for it! That’s the smartest route to go lol!
Oh I won’t be! I’ll catch it when it hits Netflix :D
I’m always up for a good NIck Kush “Worst of . . . “
Hahahahaha! I’m trying my best over here! Thanks so much 😁
Well, that list was a little different than I was expecting, and like you with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, I had no real feelings one away or another for The Hustle or the Sun Is Also A Star. They exist. They’re competent. Enough said. Ugly Dolls on the other hand… here are my picks for the three worst movies of May: 3) Long Shot (It was okay, I guess I’m just not that into Seth Rogen’s stoner-style comedy); 2) Ugly Dolls; 1) Booksmart (I know I’m probably in the minority on this one, I was just really bored watching it and most of it felt really false.)
I’m curious: is Booksmart empirically worse than something like The Hustle or The Sun is Also a Star in your mind, or do you think the media coverage of it clouded your judgement somewhat? By all means dislike it if it struck you that way — I’m not one to tell others what they should or should not like — but I feel as if the enormous hype and backlash to those that HADN’T seen the movie bothered a ton of people on social media and possibly turned them off to the film. Idk, just my thoughts!
I’m not on social media a lot, so I’m not sure any of that really bothered me or swayed my judgement in any way. Some of the hype and critical acclaim may have made me think the film was going to better than I felt it was, but when all is said and done, it may have just been the movie itself… it simply didn’t land for me the way it has for others.
That’s totally fair! Just curious :)
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