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By Jamie Tipps | June 19, 2007

I’m trying to think of ways that the creators of “In the Land of Merry Misfits” could make the film remotely enjoyable to their viewers. Here’s what I have come up with so far: 1) cut 93 minutes from the 98 minute running time; 2) distribute copious amounts of mind altering drugs to the audience; 3) offer individual shoulder massages by hottie producer Maria Menounos.

The bad news is that even if all of the above suggestions were enacted, it still wouldn’t redeem this misguided project.

For a film ten years in the making, the end result is simply too painful to watch. Tacked on as an apology/play for sympathy, the opening segment provides some interesting back story. A ragtag group of friends works a series of odd jobs over the course of ten years, trying to complete their pet film project. Seemingly a lost cause, the movie is shelved and forgotten until their former intern — Menounos — makes it big in Hollywood, and using her newfound clout, resurrects the project and brings it to its completion. Unfortunately, the five minutes devoted to this discussion proves to be far more interesting than the actual product.

“…Misfits” tells the tale of William, a young lad enroute to visit his girlfriend at her uppity college when he gets waylaid by car trouble in the bizarre town of Bethany. The inhabitants of the town are divided between the successful jock monkeys who own a car dealership and the freaky outcasts who run a competing garage. Somewhere in the jumbled plot, William attempts to fix his car, auditions for a community theatre production, and participates in a vague and limply executed quest of the Grail of Popularity.

The movie desperately wants to be a John Waters film (and how they got him to narrate the mess, I’ll never know). However, it completely lacks the wit, audacity, and irreverence of his work. What is left is an overly packed cast of boring characters and a tedious narrative. The flaws are so numerous that it only gives me a headache to enumerate them–suffice to say that it is altogether best to skip this dour experience. Unless someone can come up with a way to turn the movie into some sort of drinking game, it would have been better for everyone to have let it remain an unrealized pipe dream.

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