If the Academy Awards are a back-slapping bore, the Razzies are a bitch-slapping fun fest. Traditionally held on the eve of the Oscars, the annual awards show for the first time took place Sunday night on April Fools' Day at Magicopolis in Santa Monica, the perfect opportunity to lay into the movies that were last year's biggest jokes.
And who did the Razzies' 657 members vote as the big “winner” of 2011? Adam Sandler, a whopping 22-time nominee, whose fiasco Jack and Jill — in which he plays both brother and sister — swept all 10 categories, a Razzie record. Hard to believe a film with Katie Holmes, David Spade in drag and racist jokes about Mexicans and Indians didn't make critics laugh.
After an opening song featuring some of the show's presenters feigning farting sounds, Razzie president John Wilson — dressed in a black suit, white sneakers and glitter-covered handkerchief — handed out the first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor to Pacino, who played himself in Jack and Jill. (Pacino wasn't joking when, in the movie, he tells Sandler, “Burn this. All copies must be destroyed. No good.'')
Sandler and his comedy went on to take Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Couple and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (of Ed Wood's 1953 Glen or Glenda), and Worst Screen Ensemble, the newest category, which included voters from Rottentomatoes.com.
In the past, winners like Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock were good-humored enough to appear in person to claim their trophies. With no stars this year, the evening's announcers — including Paul Einstein, Kelie McIver, Allen Rueckert, Avery Clyde, Glenn Simon and Thushari Jayasekera — kept the laughs going by using hilarious review bits from movie reviews web site to introduce the “nomina-neutered.”
One reviewer called the Twilight trifecta of Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart (nominated for Worst Screen Couple) “the dullest menage a trois,” while another described Sarah Palin (nommed for Worst Actress) in Sarah Palin: The Undefeated as “so outlandishly partisan she makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.” The New York Post said Jack and Jill director Dennis Dugan had “all the skill of a blind parking lot attendant.” But it was perhaps The Detroit News that was the funniest when it simply wrote: “Jack and Jill: The Apocalypse Starts Here.”
In one of the theater's room, Wilson and Rottentomatoes.com editor-in-chief Matt Atchity conducted a post-show press Q&A surrounded by vintage posters of cheesy magic shows by Seigfried and Roy, David Blaine and others, which easily could've doubled as some of the ceremony's bad films. Wilson let it be known that Sandler was approached about appearing at the Razzies, but conveniently hightailed it to Florida to escape embarrassment. He also mentioned some of last year's flicks that nearly made the cut but weren't nominated, including The Human Centipede 2. “Our goal when we started the Razzies 32 years ago was to dissuade people from making movies like this,” said Wilson. “Clearly, that's not working.”