After reading Chris's hilariously genius "review" of The Happening and his subsequent blog post, there is really no excuse for what I did last night. In what can only be described as an act of self-masochism, I paid to see M. Night Shyamalan's debacle of a film. But take heart: Fans of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" should love this movie; it is so eminently make-fun-of-able, it's irresistible. It definitely works as a comedy. I laughed the whole way home just thinking about the tiger arm-eating scene and the weird, dischordant, faux incredulous tone of Mark Wahlberg (he says, "Oh no, that is awful" and manages to sound like Amy Adams in Enchanted).
Also several people, including Chris, told me that supposedly Shyamalan did have a cameo in the film but they couldn't remember it. I found this strange as his cameos always annoy me: Just when I am in the grip of the plot, totally submerged in the story, in walks Shyamalan, forcing me to think, Oh, there's the egoist who made this movie, utterly disengaging me from any good mojo the film had over me. So, as the last scenes were unfolding last night, I realized that I too had not yet seen Shyamalan. Was it possible that I had become so engrossed in this catastrophe of good sense that I missed him in a crowd scene somehow? So, ever the glutton for punishment, I stayed for the credits. And there it was: M. Night Shyamalan is listed as "Joey"--also known as Alma's (Zoe Deschanel) sort-of adulterous tiramisu partner, a character who is discussed but never seen on film at all. (The closest we get to meeting Joey is Alma's side of a cell phone conversation that goes something like, "We had tirmisu and that's all we are ever going to have!") How nauseatingly meta. It's time to take Shyamalan out back and kick the shit out of him.
At least one other film-goer last night agreed. As I left, I saw a living version of comic-book guy from "The Simpsons" on a cell phone declaring, "I... am... in... awe... of how AWFUL that movie was." Here, here, comic-book guy, here, here.