We Watched Robin Thicke’s Terrible New Rom-Com So You Wouldn’t Have To
It's the singer's first ever feature film. Hopefully it is also his last.
Warning: this article contains spoilers of a terrible movie you shouldn’t watch anyway.
In the aftermath of his gross MTV performance, Paula Patton very publicly separating from him, selling less than 50 copies of his new win-her-back concept album Paula, being annihilated live on Twitter, and the swift public rejection of his creepy, lecherous persona, Robin Thicke’s debut as an actor in this year’s Making the Rules is probably the least embarrassing thing to have happened to him lately.
That being said, it is still incredibly embarrassing.
If you’re unaware (and, really, why wouldn’t you be?), Making the Rules is an indie romantic comedy starring Emmy-winner (for My Name is Earl) Jaime Pressly – and it truly has to be seen to be believed. Being Junkee’s resident glutton for cinematic punishment, I chose to watch the film in all of its amateur glory. And I shuddered in soul-shaking horror more times that you’ll ever know.
Blessedly barely 70 minutes long, the movie from writer-director Jimbo Lee (JIMBO LEE!) stars Pressly as Abby, an unhappily married chef who finds herself unemployed and with too much spare time on her hands. Casual indifference to her dull, sad puppy husband (the improbably named Tygh Runyan!) becomes seething hatred, and thus begins an affair with her hair-dresser ex-boyfriend (Thicke). It’s not until a pregnancy scares her straight that Abby realises maybe cheating on her husband with an oaf like Thicke is not to best way to handle her mid-life crisis.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Having Robin Thicke star as a somewhat stalkerish ex-boyfriend who proceeds to try and steal a married ex-girlfriend away from her husband is perfect casting — like when Chris Brown was cast as a selfish, tempestuous thug with anger problems in dance flick Battle of the Year. It’s actually rather alarming how similar the character of Shaun is to Thicke’s real world persona. Right down to the comically stupid sky-high Elvis hair and faux bad-ass clothing, not to mention those weird chain necklaces that appear to do nothing except accentuate his low-cut, v-necked cleavage. It’s like he showed up on set and they just made him play himself.
How you doin’?
“You know, you’re sitting right here in front of me, but it’s like you’re not even fucking here with me right now. You really need to think before you do this again,” he says with an all-too believable menace, during he and Abby’s third act break-up. Everything he says is dripping in repulsive smarm, and he has all the charm of a sex pest.
After their (blissfully off-screen) sex scene, Thicke’s gel-heavy hair hasn’t a single strand out of place as he goes and lights up a cigarette. His awkward, lunking frame towers over the petite Pressly who spends the entire film like a deer in the headlights, unable to register humanity when working opposite a blank and emotion-free Frankenstein’s Monster.
But it’s not just Thicke. The main characters are all horrible beasts that you’d cross the street to avoid: insufferable, overly-privileged Los Angeles ass-hats who spend entire scenes talking about nothing.
Plus it looks ugly, made on a tiny budget by people who exhibit no talent. This is nowhere more apparent than on the DVD artwork, which features what is clearly an image of Thicke from a red carpet event taken from a stock photo library.
It’s little surprise that the producers dumped it on American iTunes with nary a word of publicity. It’s purely by miracle of my Thicke-seeking sonar that I came across it one day and couldn’t look away.
Following in the grand tradition of “I want to be taken seriously as an actor” screen debuts by musicians like Rihanna in Battleship and Ice-T on Law & Order: SVU, I’m only thankful that Robin isn’t asked to sing. It’s for the best, given the way he monotonously mumbles through his hornbag drivel and relies on a repetitive stock of uncomfortable actorly ticks, smiles, nods, giggles, and grimaces.
Truly a farce or nature is Mr Thicke’s acting. If you can’t stand to watch the whole film, just watch this hilarious greatest hits compilation.
You’re welcome. I need a shower.
Glenn Dunks is a freelance writer from Melbourne who is currently based in New York City. He tweets too much @glenndunks.