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Dirty Love

Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 11/28/05 15:03:57

"For those who think poop jokes are too sophisticated."
1 stars (Sucks)

I want to like Jenny McCarthy. I really, really do. She always seems like she has more going on upstairs than the usual fake-boob model, and her knack for physical comedy (mixed, obviously, with her easy-on-the-eyes-ness) always tries to convince me that she’s worth watching.

Then along comes something like “Dirty Love,” and my hopes are crushed. Written by and starring McCarthy, “Dirty Love” is ninety mintes of soul-crushing idiocy, wrapped in incompetence and smothered in fart jokes. It is a movie so bad that she had to get her then-husband to direct it and her friends to be in it. The then-husband is John Asher, a man who has made a career out of directing his wife’s movies; the friends are co-fake-boob model Carmen Electra and, in a cameo, the intolerable Kathy Griffin. (I weep for the kind of person who gets excited at the idea of a Kathy Griffin cameo.) Oh, and the pseudo-punk-lite band Sum-41 shows up at one point, which, not coincidentally, was the same point that I wished I was deaf.

There are other people who helped make “Dirty Love,” but in the end, this is McCarthy’s film. Asher’s directorial style (if you can call it that) is to point the camera at the star and let her do whatever she wants. And what McCarthy wants more than anything, it seems, it to revel in gross-out humor - the idea, I suppose, is to show that women can do gross-out humor just like men can. (Which leads me to a flashback to 2002’s “The Sweetest Thing,” a movie that had the same mission, and which, again not coincidentally, was so dreadful that it pretty much ended my attraction to comedian/writer Nancy Pimental.)

The problem is that McCarthy gets the gross-out part right, but not the humor part. Perhaps there is a way to make puking on boobs or having a giant fish stuck up one’s back end hysterical - but if there is, McCarthy has yet to discover it. “Dirty Love” revels in stupidity, but it does so in a way that becomes tiresome and obnoxious all too quickly. If the throwaway gag in which McCarthy’s mother farts into the telephone does not get you, the movie informs us, then perhaps the menstrual blood scene will.

Yes, dear friends, there is a scene here that is all about menstrual blood. The premise is that McCarthy’s character has made a mad dash to the supermarket to buy some much-needed hygiene products, but she’s too late, and soon she and all around her are slipping and sliding in pools of the stuff. Obviously the joke relies on hyperbole - if it were just a few drops, that would be unseemly, but since it’s gallons of blood, then it’s too extreme to be taken as anything but a goof. What McCarthy does not realize is that hyperbole alone does not guarantee a laugh; in fact, if done incorrectly, hyperbole can only make a failed joke all the more aggravating in its desperation.

As for the plot, it, too, is childish and poorly designed. It’s something about McCarthy’s character walking in on her himbo boyfriend and another woman, leading to a breakdown. Before you can say “sitcom cliché,” McCarthy’s busy trying to land another man in order to make her ex feel jealous. Meanwhile, her male friend (Eddie Kaye Thomas, the lone voice of sanity and talent in this mess) is busy harboring a secret crush, one that will undoubtedly resolve itself by the closing credits.

For reasons understandable only to McCarthy and Asher, Carmen Electra is hauled in to play McCarthy’s best friend, a white beautician who thinks she’s black. To those of you who are now thinking, “hey, that might actually be funny,” let me assure you that no, there is no conceivable way that this running joke can ever possibly be funny. And “Dirty Love” proves it.

I will assume that there might be a few of you reading who, despite these warnings, are still eager to catch this film, for the sole reason of spotting a glimpse of McCarthy’s surgically enhanced assets. For you, the horny, hopeless movie watcher, may I suggest Googling the words “Jenny McCarthy” and “big ol’ fake naked boobies.” You’ll get the same result as if you watched the film, only you’ll be mercifully spared ninety minutes of cinematic agony. And who knows? Unlike me, you might not find yourself hating McCarthy afterward.

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