Every year there is one movie that is not only bad, but seem to undermine the whole point of film: entertainment. This year's winner will most likely prove to be Old Dogs, whose makers, according to our own Katey Rich, "should be ashamed of themselves." These films leave audience members and critics alike questioning what God they upset to be put through such torture. If director Tom Dey's interview with USA Today is any indication, then next year's Marmaduke already has a special award waiting for it.
Let's start from the top, shall we? Here is Dey's first quote:
"We've approached the movie like a John Hughes movie with dogs...The dog park is like high school for dogs. To make this kind of movie, you really have to understand that it is the dog's world and we just live in it."
Congratulations moviegoers of 2010. The first movie to pay tribute to the sorely missed director of The Breakfast Club will be a Great Dane sniffing the ass of an Australian shepherd on a patch of grass covered in dog shit. Dey's version of of Ferris Bueller licks himself inappropriately before trying to sneak a pie off of the high shelf. But let's move on.
"Marmaduke is a teenager, and he's trying to find his way in the world. It's a boy-meets-girl story, a coming-of-age and cautionary tale. My job as director is to try to place the audience inside this world."
I'm beginning to wonder how deluded this man actually is. Mr. Dey, you are not directing The Godfather, or even Sixteen Candles. You are making a movie in which a dog wears sunglasses. Get over yourself.
And now for my favorite section of the article.
"I asked [dog trailer Mike Alexander] if he could teach the dog to surf," Dey says. "Mike said he didn't know if he could even get the dog in the water. The Danes he's worked with in the past have not wanted to go into the water."
I might have a stroke before I finish this article. MARMADUKE FUCKING SURFS! And not only does he surf, but he has to win a surfing competition to save "face" for his owner. What does that even mean!? Has Marmaduke's owner been bragging to the neighbors that her dog can surf better than any other dog in the world? Did she make a bet with the Yakuza and they threatened to cut out her eyes if Marmaduke couldn't hang ten? What the hell is going on?
The last section of the article is about how they train the Great Dane with treats, but even a first grader understands that dogs like food, so I'm not going to bother with it. Here is the real point: I never expected anything out of Tom Dey or this project. After all, this is the man who directed Showtime and Failure to Launch, and the Marmaduke comic, in its 55 year run, has never succeeded in being funny. But what is truly fucked about this story is that Tom Dey seems to believe that he is Orson Welles on the cusp of Citizen Kane. Perhaps if he embraced the horribleness of it all, it could have had some redeeming qualities, but it appears he pushed that option out the door long ago, along with public respect and dignity.