'All's Faire in Love' review: Part "Role Models," part "Adventureland," all excruciating

MoviesEntertainmentRole Models (movie)Ryan ReynoldsMatthew LillardChristina RicciNobel Prize Awards

Zero stars (out of four)

If you don’t like the word “penis” but crack up at the use of “wang,” “ding dong,” “wenis” and “wiener,” this is your movie.

In “All’s Faire in Love,” Owen Benjamin’s performance suggests director/co-writer Scott Marshall told him, “Give me Ryan Reynolds’ arrogance without any of the charisma or energy.” Despite being close to 30 when the movie was filmed in 2008, Benjamin plays Will, a college quarterback whose renaissance literature professor (Cedric the Entertainer, I kid you not) will only excuse Will’s absences if the cocky jerk lives and works at a Renaissance Faire for three weeks.

There Will meets Kate (Christina Ricci of “Pan Am” and “Absolutely anything that offers her a role”), who has chosen an “acting” gig at the Faire over a high-paying office job that offends her. Forced to be the faire’s Fetchboy and Fetchgirl, Will and Kate really hit it off, by which I mean they lack any type of chemistry and look very uncomfortable together for reasons other than their roughly six-foot height difference. (Somehow this translated to off-screen sparks, as Benjamin and Ricci got engaged in March 2009 and reportedly called it off less than three months later.)

Other characters include the faire’s queen (Ann-Margret, whose name is misspelled in press materials), a jester with a hand puppet named Horny the Unicorn (Dave Sheridan), a witch (Nadine Velasquez of “The League”) who really says “Let’s rock” when holding up a rock, and a hapless employee played by Matthew Lillard, whose credibility-restoring work in the upcoming “The Descendants” likely won’t overcome the scene in “Faire” when a goat pees in his face.

For some reason all faire workers compete in a Grand Finale talent show that determines their job for next summer, as if everyone will definitely return to work there. It makes as much sense as the gang’s reluctance to sleep with the beautiful “princess” (ex-Playboy model Sandra Taylor) and a roughly 15-second sequence that includes the unlocking of a chastity belt, a marriage proposal and the marriage ceremony itself.

Those who survive the film’s 97-minute/3,000-year running time deserve a Nobel Prize for Endurance. If they don’t give those, now’s the time to start.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7:30 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com. @mattpais

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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