Ugh, the Razzies. No fruit is too low-hanging for the awards body that’s essentially the anti-Oscars, who celebrate the year’s worst in cinematic product — or just make super obvious jokes that your least funny friend already made. For their 2015-in-film edition, they naturally, of course, inevitably, lamely stuck it to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Jupiter Ascending” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” as well as “Mortdecai,” the latter which performs the sadistic task of reminding us “Mortdecai” existed at all. (Wasn’t that such a Razzies-level joke? We actually didn’t hate “Mortdecai,”in part because we actually saw it.)
We’ve criticizedthe Razzies before, charging them with being unimaginative and, especially in the social media landscape of our brave new world, late to the party, cracking yuks everyone made throughout the year. And they deserve our scorn. Rather than act as a counter to the Oscars, they’re somehow even more bland, not even considering that “Fifty Shades” might have some merit — not the least of them a quietly funny turn from star Dakota Johnson, who of course was nominated.
But let’s say some nice things about them for a change, because the Razzies are at least as easy a target as the people and films they take down. One could charitably point out that they didn’t dogpile on “Aloha,” Cameron Crowe’s roundly derided but actually, secretly semi-good BCoop-EmStone rom-com. And they did nominate Adam Sandler for not just “Pixels” but the truly, inventively abysmal indie “The Cobbler,” which was actually made by the same guy, Tom McCarthy, whose “Spotlight” is a major Oscar contender.
Dull as the Razzies consistently are, they’re useful in retrospect, allowing investigators from the future to see what was considered bad cinema in the past. Did you know Stanley Kubrick was once nominated for a Razzie? Everyone loves “The Shining” now, but in 1980 it was persona non grata, and that’s interesting to know. One day we can look back on this edition of the Razzies and see all kinds of forgotten obscurities that briefly became pop culture touchstones, such as “The Boy Next Door” and “Mortdecai” (which, like “Fifty Shades,” had some merit — including Razzie nominee Gwyneth Paltrow’s perfectly acceptable turn).
Still, let’s not let this turn into a love-fest. The Razzies have such bad taste that still failed to see the hammy charms in Eddie Redmayne’s super-duper-all-caps-insane turn in “Jupiter Ascending.” And did Amanda Seyfried run over a Razzie member’s dog? She’s in about 20 seconds of “Pan” and is entirely solid in “Love the Coopers,” and yet she’s been nominated for both. Ye gods, nevermind: the Razzies suck. Their crappy list of nominees is below: