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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: Will Forte -- NBC Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews
It’s been quite a good week for Saturday Night Live. The Betty White Mother’s Day episode scored huge ratings, and the show is poised to close out its 35th season with master host Alec Baldwin at the controls. Most surprising of all is the news that “MacGruber,” the movie version of Will Forte’s recurring skit, may not suck.
No! It’s true! The movie opens a week from Friday and the folks at Rotten Tomatoes have yet to turn up a bad review of it. Todd Gilchrist at Hollywood News says, “One of not only the best spinoffs, but the best all-around comedies in recent memory,” which would be a HUGE compliment if it had been worded properly.
I’m surprised by this news for a few reasons. One: there were 800 MacGruber skits already embedded within last Saturday’s episode, and they weren’t that great. Two: the main character is a spoof of an 80’s TV show that everyone made fun of to a tiresome degree back in the 80’s. Three: it’s an SNL movie, and any SNL movie not named “Wayne’s World” or “The Blues Brothers” is bad news.
There’s also the fact that “MacGruber” is the first feature film that Will Forte has ever headlined. Forte is a brilliant performer at times, especially during his stint on “Flight of the Conchords,” where he played a dry cleaner/actor. But he’s never carried a comedy for an hour and a half.
Well, turns out this movie could potentially beat all those nasty mitigating factors. “MacGruber” is being hailed as extremely crude and silly, which is all I ever ask for from a comedy. And in a summer slate lacking in giant comedy vehicles, “MacGruber” could end up cleaning up the way “The Hangover” did last summer. Who knows? There will still be 10 Best Picture nominees this year. Surely, there’s room for a movie about a dude with a mullet who blows up stuff.