Brent Bozell
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They say the movie theaters make more money on popcorn, candy and soft drinks than they do on the movie tickets. If that's true, theater owners really ought to reconsider the previews they're airing. They can make you sick to your stomach.

I don't know why Hollywood moviemakers are so fascinated with flatulence and excrement. It's become almost an obsession, a formality of sorts in the "humor" oeuvre.

Watching a recent preview of the forthcoming movie "The Change-Up" is bad enough when you consider the plot -- two men mysteriously switch bodies, and just how many times will they beat this horse to death? One is an uptight lawyer and family man, and the other a foul-mouthed slacker and relentless womanizer. Aha! The womanizer will be presented with the opportunity to have sex with another man's wife! Genius!

There's nothing original here, so enter Flatulence and Excrement. Just as the womanizer prepares to take the family man's place in the marital bed -- remember, any child in a movie theater can watch these previews -- the wife gets a bad case of diarrhea, complete with a shot of her sitting on the john, defecating. Oh, but there's more. She then gets into the bed and backs up to her faux husband. Naturally, the disgusted womanizer exclaims, "Don't back that thing up into me!" Har, har!

This qualifies as a preview, a snapshot of the best this movie has to offer. Even if you find it funny, why must it be in the previews, where it can -- and certainly will -- gross out the majority of unsuspecting viewers?

That's not the only scat prank in the plot. The film opens with the uptight lawyer (played by Jason Bateman) getting up with his twin babies to change them -- when he gets a hot blast of diarrhea in his mouth. When the late Steve Allen talked about Hollywood sinking into the sewer for laughs, he meant so figuratively. Who knew Hollywood would eventually go there literally?

Bateman insists in interviews that he was so completely excited to star in this series of bathroom grossouts: "I was like, wait a second, this is how they're gonna start? All right, I'm ready, my knees are bent, I'm prepared for anything they're gonna throw at me, and they didn't disappoint. It just kept coming."

What else kept coming? Gutter talk in front of small children was also mandatory. The Huffington Post reports that once Bateman's body is taken over by the foul-mouthed slacker character, the film contains "a number of scenes in which he lets out a ferocious slew of curses in front of his 6-year-old daughter. ... Bateman, a father himself, made sure to finesse those uncomfortable moments."

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Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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