Not Cool (2014)

So it was my friend’s birthday last week. He’s part of Movie Night–he’s actually the guy who started it in his parents’ basement–and wanted to watch something truly awful in celebration. Just some absolute dog shit. And I thought, hey, I know something that is supposed to be irredeemably bad! And so we watched Not Cool, a film that was made by a YouTuber as part of a reality show. And I hated it so much. So, so much.

Some background: Mr. Shane Dawson is a YouTuber who I have never had the displeasure of watching. He’s allegedly a comedian, but I know him mostly for his string of controversies: blackface in early videos, having to publicly come out and say he didn’t fuck his cat, grooming allegations, working with questionable people, and just in generally being obnoxious. But you can turn that and all the drama that ensues into a career, and so Shane has. Enter The Chair, a reality show on Starz that had two first time directors adapt the same script outline to see which was more popular–not better, but more popular. Shane, being an internet celebrity, won the online vote over AM Lukas and her movie Hollidaysburg, which I am led to believe is fine. A perfectly average movie.

Shane’s Not Cool, on the other hand, was so awful that executive producer Zachary Quinto demanded his name be removed from the film. And the more people pointed out how needlessly offensive and awful the film was, the more Shane dug in and decided to make it, well, worse. And so we have this final project, which opens with a girl getting thrown up on and shortly after has a homeless black man eating his own shit.

The actual plot doesn’t matter. This is so fucking bad. It’s offensive and racist and just unpleasant to watch. And it’s also a little hypocritical? Like, Shane plays the main character and he at one point correctly states that his ex-girlfriend is being pretty racist, but… my dude, you fucking wrote that! You don’t get to wash your hands of this when it’s your project!

I do unfortunately have to say that there are a few okay jokes in this. Supposed everyone thinks Drew Monson’s character is the best and funniest part, but he just tried too hard and most of his stuff didn’t land. But he was part of one of the least awful plot points! He wants to bang this chick, but she’d rather just be friends. And after he chases after her excessively, he eventually gives up and accepts that he won’t sleep with her. She even tries to get him laid! Just… ignore that we’re led to believe he fucked Shane Dawson in drag playing just one of the worst characters in an already bad movie. But beyond that last bit, I will give the movie some credit: it would’ve been so easy to just have her give in and they ended up together, but having her remain firm and not forcing the two to pair up was a good decision.

Not that that changes the fact that I hated this movie. I usually try to reserve half a star to movies that are bad on every level–including cinematography–but while this movie looked acceptable, its content and disdain for basic human decency won’t let me rate it anything higher. And I don’t give zeroes, so here we are.

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