The Best and Worst Movies Written by Actors

Bobby

This 2006 drama was actually Emilio Estevez’s fourth produced screenplay, following the dramas That Was Then…This is Now and Wisdom and the slapstick comedy Men at Work. But those films were basically harmless vanity pieces; Bobby was an attempt by Estevez (who also directed) to make a sprawling, Altman-style ensemble piece about an important historical event (the assassination of Bobby Kennedy). And it is a nightmare — an utter mess sunk by a too-busy narrative, too many characters, an overdose of historical montages, and soap opera dialogue. In centering a cast of two dozen or so recognizable faces around a political assassination, Estevez is clearly going for Nashville, but he comes up with Crash — particularly, he seems to be consciously replicating that film’s tin ear for dialogue and complete lack of thematic subtlety. Further, Estevez seems to have a big cast solely for the sake of having a big cast — if RFK’s going to get shot, do we really give a damn about the affair between the hotel manager and the switchboard girl? If this assassination was indeed a critical turning point in American history (and there’s little doubt that it was), then maybe we could spend a little more time with his assassin (who gets one line), and a little less time with the wacky drug dealer upstairs (played by Ashton Kucher, of course)? Estevez’s screenplay also includes a clichéd acid trip sequence and a conversation between Helen Hunt and Martin Sheen about how women love shoes. Yes, seriously. Bobby plays like a first draft screenplay that needed at least three more passes before getting tossed.