On Screen: “Happening,” “Love Guru”

‘GOSH, THAT WAS A HORRIBLE MOVIE’ | ‘The Happening’ – wishing it hadn’t

With my sons away at camp, my wife and daughter in Kentucky to see other family members and the grass having been mowed, I went Friday afternoon to see “The Happening,” a film I wrote about a few weeks ago here. It left such a bad taste in my mouth I went immediately to see “Love Guru” afterward, which made my movie-going experience on the afternoon 0-fer-2.

First, “The Happening”…

A Herald co-worker (“I wish it hadn’t happened,” she texted me) and my sister (“It’s not happening”) both warned me it was bad, but I wanted to give M. Night Shyamalan’s film a chance because of the success of some of his earlier work.

Life is strange, and “The Happening” made me ponder some of life’s more quirky mysteries. The appeal of Amy Winehouse…photosythesis…why “abbreviated” is such a long word. Add this one to the list: why would a studio (studios, actually), with all the executives who make such big salaries, allow a script as horrible as “The Happening” to ever be made into a movie.

Bad script, bad story, bad acting, bad directing, bad ending, bad everything. Not quite on the stink level of “The Mist,” but mystifying awful. I went into the film having read the reviews and heard how bad it was, but I was unprepared for the miserable filmmaking. Remembering the exquisiteness of the scenes of “The Sixth Sense,” it’s hard to believe how plain, and plainly bad, this film is. Not a single scene worked, and as a whole the film was an utter waste of time (for me and for the two other people seeing the 1:35 showing).

It ended just in time for me to wander over to the 3:15 showing of “Love Guru,” Mike Meyers’ latest farce. I happened to be the only person in the theater for this piece of filmmaking, and even though there were several laugh-out-loud parts, Meyers seemed intent on slipping in as much crudeness – using the same gag the basis for bad jokes over and over again – into the film.

The only redeeming part of the entire afternoon was seeing the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup at the end of “Guru” – something that hasn’t happened in real life since 1967. I know it was make-believe, but it helped me imagine that I hadn’t wasted an afternoon at the movies.

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