I’ve been in bed much of today, fighting off what I hope isn’t the flu.
When I’m sick, I’m useless. So is my brain. So instead of, say, reading a book or digging through the newspaper, I just devoted 1 1/2 hours of my life to watching “The Happening,” starring Marky Mark, Zooey Deschanel, and an older woman with a shard of glass sticking from her eye.
I’m not saying “The Happening” is the worst movie ever made. But that’s only because I’ve seen “A.I.” and the original “Star Trek.” It is, however, a putrid wad of manure gum, trampled on by a wart-footed elephant whose toes are dripping with the snot of 7,043 flu-ridden squirrels. Just in case you’re considering watching it, I will prevent such an experience by laying out the plot:
1. People all over the Northeast start mysteriously killing themselves.
2. Marky Mark looks concerned, because he enjoys science and therefore uses several four-syllable words.
3. John Leguizamo, Mark Mark’s bud, abandons his young daughter to find his wife. En route, he slits his wrists and dies.
4. Someone is run over by a large lawnmower. Actually, it might have been a tractor. When I was a kid, my brother and I used to go next door to the Millers’ house and go on the tractor. It was fun, and nobody ever ran themselves over. Not that it’s possible, if you think of all the safeties placed on most Deere products. Uh, yeah.
5. Marky Mark tells Zooey that he loves her. This is important, because it provides ongoing banter throughout the ceaseless walking to find a safe haven.
6. Marky Mark and Zooey meet the old lady, who serves them cookies, allows them to sleep over and acts all crazy-crazy for no known reason. Luckily, her banter is brief. She slams her head into a glass window.
7. Marky Mark and Zooey luck out of it all and live. So does John John Leguizamo’s abandoned daughter, whoâ€”as we learn in a forward flashâ€”adjusts quite well to having her mother killed by a plant-caused virus and her dad gone, thanks to slit wrists.
8. Last sceneâ€”Zooey is pregnant. Everyone is happy. Well, not the dead people. But they’re dead. So, no biggie.
By the way, the writer and director of this film was M. Night Shayamalan, whose fastball has gone all Rick Ankiel on him. What the hell happened?