From Schumer's self-pleasure shout-outs to dueling De Niros, here are the highlights and lowlights of last night's show
BY PHOEBE REILLY April 13, 2015 Rolling Stone Magazine
If you weren't annoyed to be missing Game of Thrones last night, then chances are you were the target audience for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, which bravely aired against the HBO series premiere. Fortunately, the hilarious Amy Schumer made the sacrifice worthwhile and took to the stage swinging — or, more accurately, misfiring an arrow. (So much for the hours of archery lessons.) But the gag went on, and so did the show. Here were the best and worst moments from the pop-celebrity, blockbuster-promoting, popcorn-statuette extravaganza that didn't have anything to do with some seriously P.O.'ed dragons.
Best: Amy Schumer's Monologue
Opening with a Boyhood gag in which the Comedy Central star lies on the grass and muses that she's statistically likely to get HPV, Schumer immediately set the tone: This gig was going to be her brand of comedy (irreverent, feminist, and very, very funny). After running through some similar plot perversions of Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, and, best of all, Whiplash in the opening film montage, the comedienne took a few clever shots at the network during her monologue. The winners don't have to worry about being cued off the stage, she joked, because MTV "refuses to play music," and that the best movie is decided on "by the same people who keep Catfish and Teen Mom on the air." It's always refreshing when the hosts don't sublimate their humor for the sake of getting asked back. Besides, any award show that wouldn't want Schumer to host should just hang on to those trophies.
Worst: Shailene Woodley's Ad-Libbed Trailblazer Award Speech
Woodley kicked things off with such a warm and sincere acceptance for her Best Actress win (the first of many), that it was surprising to see her stumble here. She vaguely quoted Emma Stone, who won the same award three years ago, and then got a little tongue-tied when trying to sort out something to the effect of being "pillars" in one's community. It was a word she repeated three more times before concluding with a corny joke that she'd road-tested on the red carpet about not being allowed to say "blaze on." (Is she watching the same show as the rest of us?!) Anyway, hey, everybody gets nervous, and it was clear the young actress had something meaningful she wanted to say. It just would have been nice for Woodley to share more articulate, perhaps slightly more prepared thoughts up at the podium.
Best: Robert Downey Jr.'s Speech for Generation Award
Leave it to Downey Jr. to show up the rookies. If we're to imagine RDJ's internal stage directions, it would sound like: Convey a sense humility that is both effortless and genuine, with just the right amount of derision. Like when the 50-year-old Iron Man star joked, in reference to the show's set design, that he's been waiting 10 years to "emerge from a massive, trippy cat head to receive the recognition I've so desired." As his Avengers costars Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth kneeled before him, Downey Jr. admitted that in the 34 years since MTV's birth, he has "squandered, resisted, surrendered, repented, [and] labored." No doubt some people in the audience (and elsewhere) will want to look to this speech in a few years to see how comebacks are done. "Keep your nose clean," he added, without pausing for the laughs.
Worst: Promo Overload
Clearly, as The Hunger Games wind down and the memory of Twilight fades like a far distant memory, the awards are lacking for the big clip that will satisfy just one rabid fan base — so instead the show is appealing to all of them. Robert Downey Jr. actually had to boil his career down to a promo for Avengers: Age of Ultron by wrapping up his lifetime achievement award speech with a scene from the movie. MTV has a new series called Scream that no one would have been able to remain unaware of, and Dwayne Johnson presented the last award of the night against a flaming San Andreas set piece. Is shameless self-promotion the only way to secure the stars' attendance these days? Either way, MTV will not get Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect 2) at these shows for anything.
Best: All the Awesome Nods to Female Sexuality
It didn't look like it could get any more ribald than Amy Schumer saying that at least two of her fingers disappear every time she watches Magic Mike — but it did. It really did. The host later referred to herself as a "celebrity leak" (think about it) before devoting an entire skit to friends bumping into each other at the movie theater — where they have come to masturbate, aided by washing machines and gourds from Trader Joe's. Elsewhere, J. Lo coaxed a little twerk from the always-game Channing Tatum. Is it possible that an entire awards show passed without a single woman being degraded? For once, the tables were turned for a whole evening.