“Twilight! Hunger Games!” shouted host Russell Brand on several occasions during his opening monologue for the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. Clearly, it wasn’t going to be a night of intense suspense about which films would dominate the proceedings. But then again, it’s not as if six months (or even six hours) from now, most viewers could actually tell you who took home a Golden Popcorn statuette.
Still, if you’re going to throw an awards show where the prizes — Best Kiss, Biggest On-Screen Transformation, “Trailblazer” — are as meaningless as a Nicole Scherzshnitzel critique on The X Factor, the least you can do is throw a raucous, funny party. And alas, that’s where the latest MTV Movie Awards fell flattest of all.
There were Brand’s stale jokes about Michael Fassbender’s penis (like pungent burps reminding us of the rich meal of bon mots George Clooney whipped up at the Golden Globes). There was poor Mila Kunis stuck with woeful “presenter banter” that had her calling Mother Teresa a “dirtbag.” There were even repeated reaction shots of Paris Hilton (the celebrity equivalent of a grotesquely melted candle with a pitiful, flickering flame that stubbornly refuses to yield). All of which seemed less in line with MTV’s usual style of “desperate to shock and delight at any cost” and more in line with a show that’s gotten too lazy to bother trying. And so without further ado, here are my picks for the night’s three best and three worst moments.
3) Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield present the “Breakthrough” Award | Maybe I’m just a sucker for Stone’s loopy-lady shenanigans, but watching her excitedly make declarations about the nominees like “they branded their names on the competition’s asses!” was my favorite live moment of the telecast.
2) Lester Boonshaft | Okay, so this skit about Hollywood’s leading archery expert could’ve been better written, but Joel McHale was goofily committed to the ridiculous role, and J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Lawrence added grim-faced absurdity to the proceedings with their irritable memories of working with Lester. And to think this dude cost us a whole Klingon archery subplot in Star Trek!
1) Emma Stone gets mocked, then wins the Trailblazer Award | The concept of a tribute video filled with backhanded compliments and outright insults is nothing new, but Jason Sudeikis and Anna Faris in particular elevated this one to hilarious heights. The former’s expletive-filled, off-camera tirade (followed by compliments that Stone is “a powerful performer and exceptional human being”) was hilarious, second only to the latter’s praise of Sharon Stone and her incredulousness that Emma Stone isn’t actually 47. Bonus points for Emma’s sweet acceptance speech encouraging teens that “what sets you apart can feel like a burden, but it’s not,” and then admitting she sounded a little “like I live in a van down by the river.”
3) Project X winning the award for Instant Cult Classic | Or, in other words, the part of the show with Charlie Sheen introducing a highlight reel of the key requirements for a “party movie”: beer, babes, more beer, party fouls, and destruction. Yes, we now have proof of art imitating life imitating a middle-aged dude who isn’t as in on the joke as he thinks he is.
2) Russell Brand’s opening monologue | If your best material includes zingers about hiding a gram of coke and a bottle of Hennessy under Charlie Sheen’s seat or Alec Baldwin being “so macho he has hair on the shaft of his penis,” then maybe it’s time to call James Franco and Anne Hathaway for counsel.
1) Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Leighton Meester introduce Best Kiss | I never expected Sandler, in his awful pink t-shirt and rolled-out-of-bed above-it-all-ness, to be funny. Thus, I wasn’t really disappointed by the lameness of his joke about an oiled-up stripper slipping and winding up with her tongue in his mouth, then smashing a beer bottle over his head and vomiting in his face. But when Samberg declared his best smootch was the time “I French-kissed my dog’s butthole,” all I could do was shake my head and think “You left SNL for this?”
And in case you missed the show (or ff-ed to get to the good parts), here’s the list of winners:
Best On-Screen Dirtbag: Jennifer Aniston, Horrible Bosses
Breakthrough Performance: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Male Performance: Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games
Best Female Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Instant Cult Classic: Project X
Best Kiss: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Pt. 1
Generation Award: Johnny Depp
Best Fight: Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Alexander Ludwig, The Hunger Games
Best Cast: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Best Hero: Harry Potter
Best On-Screen Transformation: Elizabeth Banks, The Hunger
Trailblazer Award: Emma Stone
Movie of the Year: Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Pt. 1
What did you think of the 2012 MTV Movie Awards? What were your picks for best and worst moment? Sound off below!