Mr. Wrong Preview

“Wait!” says Patrick, just as it appears that that piece of shit hack Manfred Long is going to destroy him with the power of the Dongle. “You don’t understand. I’m not just hard to kill, I’m impossible to kill. If you try to use the Dongle one me it will destroy the world.” Manfred squints his eyes in suspicion. “Explain,” he says slowly, still not entirely believing. Patrick launches into an elaborate story about how through the power of eastern medicine he established an unbreakable bond between him and the Dongle. Thus if the Dongle destroys him, then the Dongle itself is destroyed and thus cannot destroy him. “It’s a singularity, you see?” Patrick finishes, wiping chalk from his hands and looking with satisfaction at the blackboard full of equations. Manfred scoffs, “As if I care. Destroying you will be worth destroying the world, just to see the look on your face.” Patrick stumbles backwards again telling Manfred to wait. “I… OK… to save the world I can break the bond. I just… I need some tools from my apartment.” Manfred sighs and nods. Save the world, destroy the world. It’s all the same to him as long as Patrick ends up dead. After arriving at the apartment Manfred looks around. “So where is this so-called ‘tool’ you need to break the bond? Don’t tell me it’s in this giant, unwieldy, obviously useless box.” he says, thumping his hand on the giant crate still taking up 95% of the apartment. Patrick turns with a twinkle in his eye. “Ah, I see,” Manfred says with a smirk, “there never was a tool. Just buying some time. Am I right?” But Patrick’s smile only gets bigger. “No, you’re very wrong. So wrong they might even call you…” That’s right! We are watching the 1996 black comedy Mr. Wrong starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Pullman. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year we get to find out if perhaps 25 years later it’s better than people thought (hint: probably not). Let’s go!

“And always keep a safe!” Kyle says. He sweeps a very patriotic American flag aside to reveal a safe. “But we never kept anything in it,” Kyle says confused. But Jamie shakes his head, “I don’t think we ever had to… it’ll contain what we need, when we need it. This is Party Town, USA remember,” he says with a wink. With a turn he opens the safe and Kyle’s mouth falls open in shock. “Holy…” That’s right! We’re pairing Mr. Wrong with another misguided marriage-centric comedy called Holy Matrimony where a woman ends up being forced to marry a literal child… so… you can see why that never made it to theaters. Let’s go!

Mr. Wrong (1996) – BMeTric: 52.7; Notability: 40

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 17.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.9%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Stupids, Mr. Wrong; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Jingle All The Way, Spy Hard, Chain Reaction, Daylight, The Associate, Eddie, Mulholland Falls, Up Close & Personal, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, Eye for an Eye, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Crow: City of Angels, Space Truckers, Larger Than Life, In Love and War, Joe’s Apartment, and 23 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Ed, Big Bully, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam; Notes: Just about top ten BMeTric of the year which is pretty amazing for a film I’ve barely heard of. That makes sense though since the IMDb rating is below 4.0! And this isn’t some recent thing either, it has always been below 4.0. Incredible edible cred.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Single DeGeneres finds the perfect man in Pullman … or so she thinks. Not the light, funny romantic comedy you might expect, but a dark-humored attempt at satire on stalking. DeGeneres, in her starring debut, turns in a fine performance opposite the always reliable Pullman, but an uneven script works against the cast.

(Huh, interesting. Two out of four stars is a lot higher than I would have expected for a bad comedy. I also like Pullman, so maybe I’ll also kind of dig it.)

Trailer –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKuR9Npr1bY 

(Haha the Honey I Shrunk Your Kids theme straight into Now That’s What I Call Music soundtracks. The movie looks wild. Maybe just a people-change-after-getting-married situation, but we’ll see.)

DirectorsNick Castle – ( Known For: The Last Starfighter; The Boy Who Could Fly; Tap; Tag: The Assassination Game; Delivering Milo; The Seat Filler; Future BMT: Major Payne; Dennis the Menace; BMT: Mr. Wrong; Notes: He played The Shape (i.e. Michael Myers) in Halloween, and has reprised the role in the recent films. Wrote Hook.)

WritersChris Matheson – ( Known For: Bill & Ted Face the Music; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; A Goofy Movie; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Imagine That; Rapture-Palooza; Evil Alien Conquerors; Future BMT: Mom and Dad Save the World; BMT: Mr. Wrong; Notes: Had cameos in all three Bill & Ted films as an Ugle Waiter, Ugly Seance Member, and Ugly Demon.)

Kerry Ehrin – ( Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; BMT: Mr. Wrong; Notes: Has produced a ton of television and wrote on many of the shows as well, including Friday Night Lights. She was nominated for Emmys for that and The Wonder Years.)

Craig Munson – ( BMT: Mr. Wrong; Notes: His only other credit is a single episode of Cold Feet which ran for 8 episodes in 1999.)

ActorsEllen DeGeneres – ( Known For: Finding Nemo; Finding Dory; Doctor Dolittle; Edtv; Future BMT: Coneheads; The Love Letter; Goodbye Lover; BMT: Mr. Wrong; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Mr. Wrong in 1997; Notes: Famous stand-up comedian who notably came out in the late 90s. She had one of the biggest talk shows around until it somewhat abruptly ended amid controversy.)

Bill Pullman – ( Known For: Casper; The Equalizer; Independence Day; A League of Their Own; Spaceballs; The Equalizer 2; Dark Waters; Wyatt Earp; Sleepless in Seattle; Lost Highway; While You Were Sleeping; Lake Placid; Battle of the Sexes; The Guilty; The High Note; Singles; American Ultra; The Last Seduction; Malice; Ruthless People; Future BMT: Scary Movie 4; The Grudge; Newsies; Brokedown Palace; The Favour; Lucky Numbers; Sibling Rivalry; Nobel Son; BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence; Mr. Wrong; Notes: Was I think somewhat notably a “Baxter” in romantic comedies in the 90s (the bland guy who the leading lady left for the leading man). Was most recently in the anthology series The Sinner.)

Joan Cusack – ( Known For: Addams Family Values; School of Rock; Sixteen Candles; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Toy Story 4; High Fidelity; Toy Story 3; Toy Story 2; Say Anything…; Klaus; Instant Family; Working Girl; Grosse Pointe Blank; My Sister’s Keeper; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; In & Out; Let It Snow; Runaway Bride; Friends with Money; Future BMT: Class; Chicken Little; Snatched; Where the Heart Is; Raising Helen; Nine Months; Mars Needs Moms; The Allnighter; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Corrina, Corrina; Martian Child; BMT: Confessions of a Shopaholic; Toys; Mr. Wrong; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for In & Out and Working Girl. Was also notably in a recent anthology series called Homecoming.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $12,825,141 (Worldwide: $12,825,141)

(Pretty rough. Probably one of the main reasons Ellen wouldn’t get another leading role and instead end up being just a heavy hitter on television.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (2/29): A mean-spirited joke without a punchline, Mr. Wrong is so painfully unfunny that Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Pullman’s lack of chemistry feels like a total drag despite being the point.

(Wow, that is a low score! I didn’t realize just how poorly it was received. Well, I don’t like unfunny comedies, so this should be a delight.)

Reviewer Highlight: As directed sloppily by Nick Castle, this comedy barely lets its main characters develop, even though either of them could be great fun. – Janet Maslin, New York Times

Poster – Mr. Sklog

(Very 90’s. I can imagine the poster hanging in the theater hoping to entice people. Bad font and weird framing, but at least a bit fun and obviously conveys something about the movie. C+)

Tagline(s) – He loved her from afar. It wasn’t far enough. (B)

(Makes almost no sense with the plot of the film. This reads like he’s a crazy stalker when that’s not really the case… or at least for a big part of the film. Anyway, could be shorter, but clever enough.)

Keyword(s) – date

Top 10: Free Guy (2021), Venom (2018), American Psycho (2000), The Departed (2006), Deadpool (2016), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Game Night (2018), Lolita (1997), Good Will Hunting (1997), Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Future BMT: 71.2 The Animal (2001), 65.4 102 Dalmatians (2000), 62.7 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), 52.3 Just My Luck (2006), 49.0 Blank Cheque (1994), 48.2 Employee of the Month (2006), 45.8 The Perfect Man (2005), 41.4 Boiling Point (1993), 40.3 Head Over Heels (2001), 39.1 Good Burger (1997)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), Batman Forever (1995), Blended (2014), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), A Walk to Remember (2002), Jack and Jill (2011), Crossroads (2002), Untraceable (2008), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Jade (1995), Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Welcome to Mooseport (2004), Never Talk to Strangers (1995), Bangkok Dangerous (2008), Mr. Wrong (1996), Bye Bye Love (1995)

Matches: It Follows (2014), The Notebook (2004), Office Space (1999), Megamind (2010), The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005), The Wedding Singer (1998), The Blob (1988), Blended (2014), One Day (2011), The Ugly Truth (2009), Holidate (2020), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), The Voices (2014), A Goofy Movie (1995), Better Off Dead… (1985), The Funhouse (1981), Terms of Endearment (1983), The American (2010), Employee of the Month (2006), The Ides of March (2011), Man Up (2015), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), License to Drive (1988), Secret Admirer (1985), I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007), Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995), A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004), Blue Steel (1990), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004), Nightmare Sisters (1988), Must Love Dogs (2005), … (and a bunch more)

(Funny that so many of them seemed to have some out in 1995 specifically. And yeah, there was a date (probably) in all of these films. What a weird keyword. Does show how decent the matches are though, a lot of those do seem like they are focused on dating in a way.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Joan Cusack is No. 3 billed in Mr. Wrong and No. 3 billed in Toys, which also stars LL Cool J (No. 6 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 2 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (3 + 3) + (6 + 2) + (1 + 2) = 17. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Lisa Kudrow screentested for the role of Annie.

Ed McMahon screentested for the role of Dick Braxton.

David Arquette, Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, and Noah Wyle screentested for the role of Walter.

Most likely, the inspiration for this title is S01-E03 of the Ellen sitcom, where she dates Mr. Perfect off personal ads & Adam tells her the date sounds creepy and must have something wrong with him.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Ellen DeGeneres, 1997)

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