Where to begin? The 2007 MTV Movie Awards featured a boozy Jack Nicholson dropping F-bombs on stage, Paris Hilton looking near tears when the Gibson Amphitheatre crowd lustily cheered the proposal that she should be sent off to jail early. Then host Sarah Silverman suggested that the bars of Hilton's cell should also be painted to look like penises so the heiress will feel at home. And that was all before the first commercial break.
Silverman had to tone her material down for the live broadcast ("I actually soiled myself," she said primly at one point, explaining her costume changes) but she still tossed plenty of Molotov jokes, such as a riff on the nature of Tobey Maguire's genitalia and the cruel beat-down on Hilton. The show's cameras zoomed in on Hilton in the audience and, for a moment, it seemed possible to actually feel sorry for her. Silverman shook her head and dropped an ad-lib that could have been the slogan for the night: "Why do I feel dirty?"
Dirty is as dirty does. When fans voted that the award for best on-screen kiss (what, you were expecting a foreign film category?) should go to Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen for their lip-lock in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," it was a no-brainer that they would repeat their gooey guy smooch during their acceptance speech. But who expected them to grope, writhe and ride each other on stage? In the past, the show was about high-grossing movie stars, now its more about movie stars grossing everyone out.
The watchword of the night was "rehab." Cohen, accepting the award for best comedic performance, gave one of his rambling trademark speeches about his alter ego, Borat Sagdiyev, getting drunk on "fermented horse urine" and ending up in clean-up custody; Silverman took a few shot at Lindsay Lohan and her recent 12-step travails; there was a short spoof film called " Texas Chainsaw Rehab;" and British chanteuse Amy Winehouse came out to perform her hit, "Rehab," which, oddly, seemed to be an especially sober performance.
There was plenty of star power, that's for sure. Nicholson, wobbly and a bit perplexed by the whole occasion ("I wasn't sure," he slurred, "about this show tonight.") won for best villain. Johnny Depp got an avalanche of applause for his pirate work and winning the trophy for best performance but (unlike Nicholson) the bespectacled expatriate seemed horribly out of place, a shy artiste dragged from a café and into a strip club. Robin Williams, John Travolta, Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Adam Sandler were some of the other big names.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was given the award for best picture but the real winner of the night seemed to be "Transformers," the upcoming Michael Bay movie that was advertised on overhead screens before the show started. The cast of the robot movie came on stage twice and seemed unsure how to speak or act. Maybe it was the awkwardness of winning an award in the new category of "best summer movie you haven't seen." Movies never had to be great to win at this show, now they don't even have to be released.
Get breaking news alerts delivered to your mobile phone. Text BREAKING to 52669. You will receive up to 30 msgs/mo. Msg&data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.
"I'm not sure what to say," actor Josh Duhamel told the crowd. Then he remembered: "It comes out July 4."
There was a contest for best amateur spoof film (the winner melded "300" with "United 93") but the best homemade movie of the night was the video sent in by young Jaden Smith, who won the award for breakthrough performance for starring with his dad, Will Smith, in "The Pursuit of Happyness." The family video was cute, silly and light-hearted, unlike most of the show. Luckily, the instant it was over, the guy assigned to warming up the crowd in the venue during commercial got things back to where they belonged: He informed the crowd that Hilton had checked herself into jail early.