The last gasp -- or maybe final burp -- of the award season came last night with the MTV movie awards. The nominees are selected by MTV producers and executives, but fans choose the winners online or via text-message.
After Tom Felton won best villain for Draco Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)," MTV's Sway tried to drum up some fake suspense for "Team Potter" vs. "Team Twilight."
But for the third straight year the "Twilight" series didn't allow any other movie to see daylight. It bagged best male and female performance for Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, best fight (for Pattinson and Xavier Samuel and Bryce Dallas Howard), best kiss (Pattinson and Stewart) and best movie.
It's all about the MTV demographic. Even Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams came to court the tweens and teens, introducing a new trailer for "Super 8." And guess what? This coming attraction, geared for an ADD audience, sacrificed character for smash-cut action. It was vastly inferior to the atmospheric, flavorful previews that have been making the rounds for months.
A new category came up this year: "Best Line."
The MTV movie awards actually honoring dialogue? Amazing. Admirable.
What won? No, not "The Social Network," but "Grown Ups," for the line, "I wanna get chocolate wasted."
The one prize that I could applaud was Emma Stone's for best comedic performance in "Easy A" -- and even that star-making turn demanded that you give the movie a big break. Though Stone was (as always) funny and charming in "Easy A," believing that this sassy, stunning performer could be a nearly-invisible high school student required some heavy lifting in the suspension-of-disbelief department.
I thought "Twilight: The Eclipse" would burn out when I saw it on its second day in theaters with a handful of people at a matinee. We did laugh with it when hunky werewolf Jacob (Lautner) told willowy vampire Edward (Pattinson) "I am hotter than you." We also groaned whenever Bella (Stewart) dropped in little tear grenades of pseudo-sensitivity, such as her wish to see that her mother was leading a full life.
We all realized there was more floss in the script than the vampires and werewolves must have used on their teeth. MTV-watchers must have been so blinded by those pearly whites that they didn't care.
Host Jason Sudeikis, desperate for gags that he'd guess anyone of any age would understand, resorted to a relentless stream of Arnold Schwarzenegger jokes. (He didn't even let go of them after he promised he would.)
Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis did a private-parts-grabbing goof on Timberlake's and Janet Jackson's costume malfunction at the Super Bowl. Since this was MTV, who cared? For this audience, is there any comic shock value left in bad behavior or profanity?
Even when Pattinson dropped the F-bomb when the bleep-masters weren't listening, his timing was so inept it barely registered.
Reese Witherspoon had the most original speech when she accepted her "Generation Award" from "Water for Elephants" co-star Pattinson, "Sweet Home Alabama" co-star Dempsey, and pal Chelsea Handler. After teaching Pattinson the proper way to tell a blue joke, she gave a shout-out to "the good girls" watching -- she hoped her success would prove to them that you can still make it in Hollywood without a sex tape or a reality show.
By the way, Ms. Handler -- Witherspoon has already shown (to use your phrase) what "a dirty bird" she can be in that gloriously grungy take-off on Little Red Riding Hood,
"Freeway." Rent it.
For a full list of awards, and the Kansas City Star's hometown take on Sudeikis' performance, click here.