MOVIE REVIEW: “The $cheme” stars Jimmy Fallon (Fever Pitch, Taxi ), Nathan Anderson (How High 2, Mad Men [TV series]), Brian Hooks (Fool’s Gold, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues [TV series], Half Past Dead), Andie Falconi (Soulkeeper, Undressed [TV series]), Timothy Bottoms (The Last Picture Show, Johnny Got His Gun), and Kamala Lopez (Deep Cover, Born in East L.A.). It is directed by Marcus Gautesen (Carboy [Short], This Means War) and written by Kamala Lopez.
Three down-on-their-luck guys plot a scheme to win ultimate cash by creating a scandalous news story involving the daughter of a major politician.
ATTENTION: The stills used for this review are in terrible low quality because they were pulled from the trailer on YouTube (which was uploaded in low resolution).
It’s been a long while since I’ve gone out of my way to see a bad movie. Let alone a film that I’m sure no one has ever heard of.
“The $cheme,” starring a young, pre-SNL Jimmy Fallon, is a flick about a couple of dudes looking to make money. By doing what? Plotting a scheme. Yep. It’s as simple as that, yet the plot line of this feature couldn’t be more convoluted. There’s a lustful nun-to-be, a kooky reporter, and a love serum that comes from iguanas. Boy, are we in for a show!
I was given this movie as a birthday gift, purchased from a miscellaneous thrift store. I’m sure this is one of five DVD copies of the release, even though it was a cheap spend. And the situation of locating this film couldn’t be more poignant. It’s shot as if it was a high school project, with clunky dialogue, poor video quality, and a story full of random, silly sequences that hinge on a basic goal. One could relate watching/experiencing it to uncovering an archeological artifact. The movie represents great experimentation, and in watching some of the bonus material included with the DVD, it’s evident that the filmmakers just wanted to have a good time.
Of course, what these guys consider to be funny is merely moronic. Because the story is so loose, many of the jokes feel shoehorned in. It’s as if the punchlines were written before the set-up. You’re subjected to an amalgamation of silly situations built on an even crazier narrative. It’s early 2000’s film fodder all the way, but at the very least it is entertaining.
Seeing a young Fallon brought some joy, and the role fit him well. Everyone in this performed with as much over-acting as you could receive, which seemed to suit the bonkers story. At least they knew what this was… despite some of the behind-the-scenes interviews suggesting that the filmmakers thought of this as comedic genius (FYI, it’s not). It’s at best an interesting artifact in the deep archives of cinema. With little to no expectations, I received what I thought, but was glad to have a few laughs. This is a better movie to watch with friends, maybe even create a drinking game for (take a shot for every tantrum Fallon’s friend throws).
Overall, “The $cheme” is exactly what you’d figure it would be upon first glance. Fallon’s never been a movie star, and this felt more like a favor than an artistic endeavor. The story is wild, ludicrous, and ends with nothing gained. There’s a few laughs and a curiosity factor in watching everything unfold, but once you’ve seen it the first time… there’s no need to watch it again. If you’re looking for garbage cinema, this fits the bill. FINAL SCORE: 22%= Burnt Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.
Here is the trailer: