A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
“Seventy percent of the critics have hated my movie,” Joan Rivers explained to me. “The other 30 percent were geniuses, knew their work and were sensually attractive.”
So there you are. I'm dumb, lazy and sensually unattractive, and “Rabbit Test” is not a funny movie. It really isn't. It's jammed from wall to wall with eccentric characters and throwaway one-liners and would-be funny signs (“The Christian Science Memorial Hospital”), but it's just not funny. And I know it's not, because I would have laughed if it had been.
Instead, I sat in the midst of an audience that broke its silence only to yawn, take orders for popcorn, and (in the case of audience members under five) break into tears. It was a pretty big audience, maybe because the publicity campaign for “Rabbit Test” was as good as the movie is bad. Everybody knows by now, I suppose, that the movie's about the world's first pregnant man. Everybody will soon find out that the movie is not funny about the world's first pregnant man.
But it tries. Not a moment goes by without something on the screen that's supposed to be funny. That's what makes the movie quietly amazing: That so many different gags could not be funny. Example: Paul Lynde plays the gynecologist who tells Billy Crystal that he's pregnant. That'll make him so famous, Lynde explains, that he'll get to appear on the Tonight Show. “And not with a guest host!” Lynde exclaims. Lynde and Rivers have both been guest hosts on the Tonight Show. Ho, ho.