Those of you that watched Keeping Up With The Joneses earlier this month will know that having a stellar cast doesn't paper over the cracks of mediocre material. Not even the combined presence of Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, could stop the supposed comedy from being anything but turgid.
But it's far from the only culprit. In fact, there have been numerous other comedies throughout the history of cinema that have wasted a tremendously gifted cast, and left us bored and static rather than rolling in the aisles.
Here are five other really, really atrociously bad comedies that have superb casts.
The trilogy of Gary Marshall-directed comedies that were each based on a holiday were particular low points for Hollywood. But that didn't stop them from acquiring top-notch casts, with the 2010 original Valentine's Day starting the trend that its spin-off follow-ups New Year's Eve and Mother's Day followed. Thanks to his status as an American national treasure, Gary Marshall was able to convince Bradley Cooper, Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts and even Taylor Swift to appear in supposed comedy. Too bad it failed to sparkle thanks to its plodding, episodic structure, and abundance of cliché.
Offensive for the sake of just being offensive, those involved in Movie 43 probably believed that starring in the raunchy comedy would make them appear edgy and maybe even cool. It failed miserably, though, as it was deemed so awful that it's roundly agreed to be one of the worst films ever made. Which is all the more bizarre considering that it stars Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet and poor old Chloe Grace Moretz, none of whom are able to provoke a chortle as they are led astray in a myriad of tasteless and tedious vignettes that add up to the cinematic equivalent of a stubbed toe.
Monuments Men just doesn't sound like a good movie. Set during World War II, it revolves around a group of Allied soldiers from the Monuments, Fine Arts, And Archives program who are tasked with finding and retrieving various pieces of art before the Nazis destroy them. While its superb cast of George Clooney, who also co-wrote and directed, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban and Cate Blanchett obviously had good intentions, it's waylaid by an ever-present air of pomp and pretension. And in the end, it just comes off as an inferior spiritual prequel to the legendary Simpsons episode "Raging Abe Simpson And His Grumbling Grandson In The Curse Of The Flying Hellfish."
Town & Country
A heavy percentage of those involved with 2001's Town & Country are bona-fide screen legends. Fred Roos produced The Conversation, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now, Buck Henry wrote The Graduate and directed Heaven Can Wait, both of which received Academy Award nominations for, while its cast included Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Garry Shandling and Charlton Heston. It also cost a hefty $90 million to make. So it speaks volumes that its $10 million gross wasn't its lowest point, as it originally went into production in 1998, was endlessly re-written, then went on hiatus for a year before it was finally underwent reshoots in 2000 and was released in 2001. The result was so bad that a traumatized Warren Beatty didn't return to acting until Rules Don't Apply, which he has also directed and produced, which will be released in November.
The Big Wedding
Yet another example of an iconic cast being brought together for what, on paper, appeared to be a fun, frothy ensemble comedy that ultimately proved to be anything but. Diane Keaton makes her second appearance on the list, but this time around she was joined by fellow Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon, while even the supporting Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace have their own charms, too. Unfortunately though, none of this talent or appeal comes to the fore in The Big Wedding, which is almost painfully unfunny as the dysfunction of the family is just annoying to the point that it's borderline unwatchable.