Leslie Bibb, Justin Long and Jason Sudeikis star in "Movie 43." (Jessica Miglio) Leslie Bibb, Justin Long and Jason Sudeikis star in "Movie 43." (Jessica Miglio)

I can almost understand why Relativity Media, the studio behind "Movie 43," declined to screen the film for critics. Almost.

Because the comedy, a raunch-fest of 12 interconnected shorts starring such A-listers as Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman, is actually quite funny. (Since it opens today, I bought a ticket for a 10 a.m. showing, watching it over my second cup of coffee with one other guy in an otherwise empty theater. We both laughed heartily.) Read my full review, and consider yourself warned.

"Movie 43": A near masterpiece of tastelessness

Don't get me wrong. The movie (which even its own promotional material advertises as "not for the weak-stomached, faint of heart or easily offended") is about as tasteless as anything I've ever seen. And I'm not usually not a fan of gratuitous gross-out humor.

But there's something so extreme, so egregious and so boundary-busting about the film that it punched a hole in the wall separating my schoolmarmish superego from my snot-nosed id. It doesn't go over the top so much as it goes straight through the concrete floor of human decency, like a nuclear core meltdown. Where it comes out on the other side is some place both terrible and, perversely, wonderful.

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