Tomcats

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In “Tomcats,” a man has a cancerous testicle removed and wants to keep it as a souvenir. He sends his buddy into the hospital lab to retrieve it, but the thing is slippery, and after a series of mishaps it winds up in an open box of chocolates, at which point someone eats it.

If you still want to see this movie, let me point something out: No, you don’t. This is a dreadfully unfunny sex comedy without a legitimate laugh in it. The plot is incoherent. The characters are unlikable. The acting is atrocious.

I can say without reservation that it is the worst movie of the year so far.

Still with me? As I heave a mighty sigh, I continue. The film begins “seven years ago,” with a group of bachelors weeping over the marriage of one of their fellows. They resolve never to get married — in fact, they start a betting pool, and the last guy left single gets all the dough.

Now, in the present, there are two remaining “tomcats”: cartoonist Michael (Jerry O’Connell) and wealthy something-or-other Kyle (Jake Busey). Thanks to wise investing, the pool is up to $500,000, with both men still having sex with as many women as they possibly can, and no marriage in sight for either one. Then Michael racks up a $51,000 gambling debt (Bill Maher plays the casino owner) and has no way to come up with the loot. His solution? Win the bet by getting Kyle married off.

(Why doesn’t Michael just go to his friends, explain his predicament, and ask to borrow $51,000 from the half-million pot? Or why not just borrow it straight from Kyle, who is somehow very rich? Do not ask the movie questions, as you will only provoke it.)

Fortunately, Kyle mentions having almost fallen for a gal he met at a wedding years earlier. Michael finds this woman, Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth), who is now a cop. She’s eager to help Michael get the money — with her getting half, of course — because she wants revenge on Kyle for the way he played her.

Mixed in with all the vulgar sex jokes is a basic romantic-comedy plot, as Michael begins to fall in love with Natalie even while helping her trick Kyle into marrying her. Then that plot is literally abandoned for a 20-minute diversion that includes Michael romancing a dominatrix librarian, the aforementioned testicular cancer, and a visit to a sperm bank. None of these tangents has ANYTHING to do with the rest of the movie. They could literally be edited out altogether without affecting the story.

Not that tangents are inherently bad, of course; Monty Python movies are full of mini-sketches that add little to the plot but are still enjoyable. But that’s the thing: They’re enjoyable. None of the digressions in “Tomcats” is enjoyable. Neither is the main story, for that matter. Whatever potential humor there is gets ruined by overplaying it. Most of the jokes, though, rely on the audience being as dumb as the movie is.

F (; R, frequent harsh profanity, abundant vulgarity and sexual dialogue, some nudity, some very strong sexuality.)

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