Ever since I saw the trailer for Cyrano back in October, I knew it would be a new classic bad movie. The trailer, which I would go on to see before every movie I saw in theatres for the next six months, is jam-packed with corny dialogue and lazy singing. It contains a conversation, which I have since memorized, that made me laugh so much that I knew, right away, that this movie was destined to be a bad movie drinking game. The conversation goes as follows, performed with breathy, posh British accents:
Beautiful lady: Speak to me like you do in your letters.
Handsome man (stammering): You are a beautiful flower.
Beautiful lady: What? I am not a flower! I need more!
That last sentence is delivered while the beautiful lady runs down a spiral staircase, her voluminous skirts bustling around her. So melodramatic, so cheesy, so perfectly silly. I loved it. I couldn't wait to drink to it. If you sincerely love this movie, or any of the movies I will ever describe as "bad," please know that badness is not an objective trait or even a negative quality. All movies can bring joy and are art, and Cyrano is one of the greatest bad movies I've ever seen.
The story of Cyrano is classic, so my assessment of its badness has nothing at all to do with the story itself. This "review" is purely based on execution.
Below is my list of rules, including relevant rules from my stock list (which can be found here). Drink every time you feel/observe:
This is an obvious one: the underlying rule of all bad media. But in this movie it is heightened because something you may not have heard about Cyrano is that it is one of the horniest movies ever made. Although there is no nudity, it's so sexually charged that it ends up feeling even more horny than a movie filled with explicit sex scenes. Roxane's heaving bosom in a tight corset. Rolling around in a sea of sheets as erotic letters and lacy curtains gently fly through the air. The fact that almost every conversation is about sex, in one way or another. It's so intense, and at times inappropriate, that it made me cringe constantly.
2. Bad singing/rapping/autotune
As much as I love Peter Dinklage, I unfortunately had to come away from this movie with the sorry realization that he can not sing or rap. Also, something I didn't know before watching this movie, is that Cyrano raps in it. Hamilton-style, witty wordsmith rapping. It leans heavily on the autotune, so every time you hear the pitch artificially shifted, take a drink.
3. A line the writer was proud of
An important part of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, the original, is that Cyrano is brilliant and witty while his handsome friend Christian is kind of dumb and not well spoken. Because Cyrano is a lovelorn, sassy, smarty pants, he is the perfect vessel for writers to craft their most poetic, overwritten, trying-too-hard-to-be-clever dialogue. Whenever you detect a line like that, take a drink.
4. Girlboss moment
Hollywood's obsession with remaking old properties and stories means that they are often faced with a problem: old stories are usually sexist. What to do with a sexist story? Girlbossify the ladies. Roxane is sassy: she wants to marry for love and talks back to people who stand in her way, sometimes in such a clever way they don't even realize they're being insulted. Or, at least, that's the idea. Instead, it's often cringey, overwritten, and results in gay panic. Many male characters are ridiculed for doing things that are traditionally feminine, like wearing makeup and fancy clothes. Girlboss Roxane is above that, so drink every time she makes it known.
5. A line from the trailer
This rule is basically just for me, because who else in this world has memorized the trailer for Cyrano (2022)? If for some reason you've done that too, take a sip every time you hear a line you recognize.
Cyrano is one-of-a-kind, and I love it dearly. I don't know what possessed someone to decide it needed Hamilton rapping, derision of men who dare to wear makeup, and long, gritty war sequences, but there it is. I find the absurd and over-the-top extremely funny and entertaining, and Cyrano fits that perfectly. If I had it my way, there'd be bad musical adaptations of every 19th century play.