Thank goodness for Robert Pattinson – not because he can act (the jury’s out on that) but because he was the loose cannon livening up last night’s MTV Movie Awards, the closest thing this supposedly young and unpredictable show had to Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. In the night’s two high points, Pattinson left Kristen Stewart’s side on stage to kiss Taylor Lautner (planned) and gave a free-wheeling tribute to Reese Witherspoon that let the word “fuck” slip by the censors (that part, at least, unplanned).
Most of the show was painstakingly mapped out, right down to its supposed “surprises.” If anyone half-watching still thought the winners were shocked, there was the Justin Bieber moment. When he won Most Jaw-Dropping Moment for Never Say Never, the presenters announced he wasn’t there, only to have him walk out from the wings instead of the audience, wearing a peacock-blue jacket with pushed-up sleeves that made him look like a refugee from some bad 80’s boy band. The real highlight of that sequence was presenter Aziz Ansari dressed as Jaden Smith from The Karate Kid, complete with cornrows.
In its best years the MTV Movie Awards had that kind of ludicrous Aziz-as-Jaden attitude running through it, but this year’s was more subdued. Host Jason Sudeikis was handed some not-great material, including movie parodies of The Hangover II and Fast Five (although he did a pretty funny Vin Diesel).
Sudeikis, like most of the stars, was there to promote a new movie, Horrible Bosses. The fan-voted MTV awards are so puffy, movie-friendly that promotion is built into the fabric of the show. J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg presented a new trailer for Super 8, with explosions and hints of conspiracies; Emma Watson introducing one for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, featuring a Harry-Voltemort showdown with fireworks, and Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner offered Twilight: Breaking Dawn, with a wedding and Bella’s baby bump.
The Twilight franchise had the ideal promo situation: every time it picked up an award for last year's Eclipse (Best Movie, Best Male and Female Performances, Best Villain, Best Fight, Best Kiss) that was also a plug for this fall's Breaking Dawn. It was while Pattinson and Stewart were accepting their Best Kiss award (she had also been nominated with Lautner) that they went into a routine in which Pattinson said he didn’t really want to kiss her, and walked into the audience to smooch Lautner instead. The joke was obviously staged, but a silly surprise to the audience. Lautner looked like a good sport, nothing more; Pattinson seemed to enjoy being mischievous.
When Pattinson, Patrick Dempsey and Chelsea Handler presented Reese Witherspoon with the Generation Award (like a life-time achievement for actors who are a little past quarter-life) he read from a piece of paper and they all pointed to a teleprompter that read : Pattinson (Ad Lib). He recalled that he’d played Witherspoon’s son in Vanity Fair, but his part was cut, and he jokingly blamed her. Then he played her lover in Water for Elephants. “I didn’t cut you,” he said. “I did fuck you.” After the bleep that came too late, he mumbled that he’d messed up his line, but did go on to say that as you get older you realize “It’s not always a bad thing to have sexual chemistry with your mother.”
Accepting the award, Witherspoon delivered the punch line he should have: that he proved he was a good motherf - well, the censor did bleep her in time.
Take a look at the Pattinson highlights Here’s the vampire kissing the werewolf.
Here’s the Witherspoon presentation, with Pattinson’s part 1:59 in.