As I figured it would be fitting today, and as there really wasn’t any movies out that I was desperate enough to get off of my couch for, I decided that it would be a fun idea to watch this comedy (that’s what Netflix calls it at least). Michael Bolton’s Variety Hour seemed like it would be a cheesy, campy piece with enough enjoyment to get me through it.
The opening credits quickly quashed that notion as it informed me that this project was spearheaded by The Lonely Island, a comedy group that hasn’t made me laugh since high school. I mean, I knew Andy Samberg was part of the cast, so maybe I should have inferred that his juvenile company would be behind it to.
Michael Bolton’s Lazy Cash Grab is less of a movie and more of a bunch of sketches lightly tied together by a narrative, a narrative in the most minimal sense of the term at least.
Basically, Bolton is crazy about Valentine’s Day, and during one of his many musical numbers, Santa Clause comes to him and says that he has way too many toys, so many toys that Christmas will be ruined unless 75,000 more children are birthed. So Santa asks Bolton to host a Valentine’s Day show to encourage enough sex to conjure up 75,000 different pregnancies.
It’s an absurd premise, but it’s something that might have enough spark to make a hilarious 7-10 minute sketch. However, this fecal splat has to go on for 55 minutes… so they instead stretch out this sketch material by screwing around for almost an hour.
We are then treated to individual sketches and skits performed by SNL actors and unemployed comedians. These wonderful ideas include Sarah Silverman and some Asian singing about their pubic hair, that one dude from Portlandia running a chocolate shop, Will Forte playing Michael Bolton’s talentless twin brother who is an insufferable loser, and a bunch of celebrity has-beens taking phone calls from people who want to let Michael Bolton know that they’ve conceived.
And of course, every single one of these sketches and songs is reinforced with some of the most lame and mundane jokes and gags in the entire world. At least half of the comedy is completely spelled out for you in a way where the joke is ripped apart and dissected, rendering the joke absolutely impossible to laugh at. But even if the jokes weren’t completely explained to you, they’re so dumb and obvious on their own that most of them rarely even made me smirk. And when there was a joke that got some sort of positive reaction from me, it was immediately met with a joke that was so lazy that I became angry and irritated again.
Michael Bolton is such a terrible actor that much of his humor and his singing were both ruined execution-wise by his inability to control his facial expressions. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal if he had people around him that were funny or had writing that played off his inability to act, but this slop is thoughtless and doesn’t play to any sort of strength or weakness of anything.
So to wrap things up:
Michael Bolton’s Valentine’s Day Massacre has no story, no characters, no acting, and if we were to be completely honest, no jokes either. This all felt like a big SNL skit that was thinly disguised thanks to the fact that Michael Bolton loves money.
I hate Adam Sandler and his irritating ability to garner funds to make abysmal movies that are just cash grabs for him and his friends, but it appears that even if Adam Sandler were to die in a fire tomorrow, Andy Samberg and his wretched company would step up to take his place. Honestly, Sandler and Samberg are just the branches of the SNL roots. If people really hate lazy comedies so much, then they should look to terminate the place that gave them their start.
There is absolutely no chance you’ll get any sort of enjoyment out of this film unless you’re a huge Michael Bolton fan or your comedy standards are so low that you enjoy SNL (if you love SNL and are offended by what I just said, I’m not sorry), and even then, the entertainment you’ll receive will be completely surface level.