Golden Raspberry Awards: 2006
The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke. Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended. Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition. In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year. But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call. We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.
The twenty-seventh annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2006. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Night at the Museum, were the highest-grossing movies that year. Martin Scorsese finally won Best Director for The Departed which was also named Best Picture. The Razzies were busy sticking it to an old favorite, a pair of brothers and a director who had lost control of his ego.
Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment
- Deck the Halls (Fox)
- Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (Fox)
- RV (Sony/Columbia)
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (Disney)
- The Shaggy Dog (Disney)
For the most part, the Razzies tended to leave family films, horror flicks and action movies alone. Every now and then, you’d get a Mac and Me or The Cat and the Hat that the Razzies felt they could not ignore. But generally speaking, they stayed away from these categories. I suspect the reason for this is that there are always a lot of crappy movies made for kids just like there are also a lot of cheap horror and action movies that could be nominated every year. Instead, the old guys at the Razzies would periodically grouse about movies made for the younger set in one of their special categories. This was one such year.
I find myself asking why the Razzies went back to this well again so soon. In 2002, the special category was Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie which was basically created as a way to shame Jackass: The Movie. The following year, Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content) wasn’t specifically about movies aimed at young people. But all five nominees skewed young with The Cat in the Hat winning the prize.
2004 was an anniversary year. Since special awards were given out for the Razzies’ first 25 years, they didn’t introduce a one-off category. 2005 was devoted to Most Tiresome Tabloid Targets which informed a lot of the nominations that year. But that is atypical. More often than not, the special categories have been used as a way to award movies that would typically fall off the Razzie radar. I think that’s why so many of the one-off awards have focused on youth movies. Next year’s special category will concentrate on another genre the Razzies typically ignore.
Two of the five nominees are Disney movies starring Tim Allen. RV starred Robin Williams who really hadn’t done a comedy for quite a while by that point. His last comedy was Death to Smoochy in 2002 which nabbed Williams a Razzie nomination. Williams’ last successful comedy was Flubber in 1997 – nearly a decade ago – and that was more of a family movie than a straight-up comedy. I think the common theme in this year’s category is that these movies featured comedic actors who had lost their way. Allen and Williams were floundering in mediocre family fare.
For Allen, well, that really wasn’t all that different from the movies and TV show that made him famous. But Williams had done great things. The same year he was mugging his way through Flubber, he also won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting. From that point on, Williams seemed to be struggling to find a direction for his movie career. He spent a few years making dark thrillers. But when audiences tired of seeing the dark side of Robin Williams, he returned to comedy with RV.
Of the five movies nominated, RV was the one critics hated the least. Roger Ebert summed up the critical indifference when he wrote in his review of RV, “There is nothing I much disliked but little to really recommend.” Compare that to Richard Roeper’s review of the Christmas comedy, Deck the Halls:
You cannot believe how excruciatingly awful this movie is. It is bad in a way that will cause unfortunate viewers to huddle in the lobby afterward, hugging in small groups, consoling one another with the knowledge that it’s over, it’s over — thank God, it’s over.
So why give the Razzie to RV when it is actually one of the better bad movies aimed at families? My best guess is that the Razzies felt like they had given Williams to many free passes. It’s easy to forget this now that the actor has passed, but there was a time when Williams had worn out his welcome with critics and audiences. From RV through Old Dogs, you couldn’t help asking yourself what the hell happened to Robin Williams?
For an actor who was so successful and beloved, Williams had a lot of turkeys on his filmography. And yet, he’d only been nominated for a Razzie twice. In 1999, the Razzies gave Williams a warning shot for Bicentennial Man and Jakob the Liar when they nominated him for Worst Actor (which he lost to Adam Sandler for Big Daddy). And as I alluded to earlier, he received a Worst Supporting Actor nomination for Death to Smoochy in 2002 (which he lost to Hayden Christensen for Attack of the Clones.)
Even now, the Razzies seem reluctant to nominate the Oscar-winning actor. So instead, they gave a Razzie to the movie that typified the sad state of his career. When Old Dogs roles around in a few years, it’s going to score some nominations. But Williams will remain exempt. This is the closest he ever got to winning a Razzie.
Posted on April 14, 2016, in Awards, Movies, Razzies and tagged Basic Instinct 2, Lady In The Water, Little Man, M Night Shyamalan, Marlon Wayans, Sharon Stone, Shawn Wayans. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.