The MTV Movie Awards occupy a unique niche in the awards show pantheon — one where sci-fi fantasies, teen tearjerkers, serious dramas and dystopian YA blockbusters all vie for movie of the year honors. One where presenters twerk, winners grab each other's crotches and occasionally someone delivers a heartfelt moment. One where a giant cat head graces the stage.
Sunday night's show featured all the above, and though it may not have offered any moments truly for the ages, the ceremony did shed some light on the current state of moviedom, at least as seen through millennial eyes. Here are five take-aways.
"The Fault in Our Stars" star Shailene Woodley emerged as the night's big winner, claiming golden popcorn trophies for best female performance and best kiss, while "Fault" took the prize for movie of the year. She also received MTV's Trailblazer Award.
Woodley appears to have inherited the It-girl mantle from "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence, beating out the three-time winner for female performance. (Lawrence herself followed back-to-back-to-back champ Kristen Stewart.) Time will tell if Woodley can maintain her grip next year in the face of the final "Hunger Games" film.
Amy Schumer's hosting audition
In her first outing as the host of an awards show, comedian and actress Amy Schumer proved a capable and irreverent emcee, if not an infallible one. Some of her jokes fell flat or raised eyebrows with their raunchiness (this is a show for teens, after all), but many more landed squarely. Some of her best quips came at the expense of MTV itself, as when Schumer told winners not to worry about being played offstage because "MTV is the one network that refuses to play music."
Don't be surprised if Schumer's presiding over the Movie Awards serves as an unofficial audition for future awards shows looking to shake things up a bit. The Oscars might be too staid, but the fizzier Golden Globes could be a perfect fit now that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are done.
What JLo wants, JLo gets
In one of the evening's more memorable off-the-cuff moments, pop diva and actress Jennifer Lopez commanded Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum, to show off some of his moves. Collecting her award for best scared-as-… performance in "The Boy Next Door" from Tatum and a few of his "Magic Mike XXL" costars, Lopez asked, "We're not gonna get a little dance number, nothing? … Let's get it!"
Tatum complied with a few gyrations, to Lopez's surprise and the crowd's delight. Think of it as JLo's rebuttal to Seth MacFarlane's ill-fated "we saw your boobs" gag at the 2013 Oscars.
Iron Man delivers the gold
In the MTV universe, 50-year-old Robert Downey Jr. is an elder statesman, and last night he was feted with the Generation Award, the network's version of a lifetime achievement honor. Just as fellow recipient Reese Witherspoon did in 2011, Downey used the moment to impart a bit of wisdom to the youth via a typically nonchalant but rather poignant speech.
"In the 34 years that have passed since the birth of MTV, I have grown up, I've struggled, I've failed, I've succeeded, I've partied way too much," the "Avengers: Age of Ultron" star said. "I've squandered, resisted, surrendered, repented, labored, begged for second chances and literally clawed my way to the top. … I invite you to dream big, work hard, keep your nose clean, be of service, and yes, because you can, define your generation."
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As smooth as Downey's speech was, the moment was still tinged with self-promotion — and so was the rest of the show. Downey and his "Ultron" costars unveiled a clip from their upcoming summer blockbuster; Rebel Wilson flogged "Pitch Perfect 2"; and Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell hyped "Fantastic Four."
Numerous promos touted MTV's upcoming "Scream" series, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson presented the night's top prize while standing in front of a giant flaming ad for "San Andreas." On a night ostensibly meant to honor films of the past year, the Movie Awards seemed more interested in drumming up publicity for those just around the corner.