By the time Rob Gronkowski finally appears on screen in “You Can’t Have It,” your enmity for the movie will be extreme. Ours was.
Sitting in the dark at Apple Cinemas Friday afternoon, it was hard to fathom how a film so staggeringly stupid and misogynistic gets made in 2017, or why anyone would spend $7.50 to watch it.
The good news is not too many people did on Friday. Just two of the theater’s 55 seats were occupied at the first local screening of “You Can’t Have It,” and both patrons said afterward they deeply regretted their decision to see the movie.
“The best part is it’s only 90 minutes,” said Peter Bleyleben, a 64-year-old venture capitalist who lives in Chestnut Hill. “I had no idea the Gronk was in the movie.”
He really isn’t. Blink and you’ll miss the Patriots tight end making his big-screen debut in a dramatic role. The Gronk, as Bleyleben calls him, may be front and center on the movie poster, but he’s barely in “You Can’t Have It,” which he’ll be glad about if critics write the scornful reviews the film deserves.
Honestly, there’s so much to dislike about “You Can’t Have It,” beginning with the script, which is so crude and clichéd in its treatment of women and sex that it could’ve been written by a middle-school boy. The male characters are all dunderheads and the female characters are there to be ogled, that’s all. The movie stars Joanna Krupa and Armand Assante.
Gronk plays a cop who’s dispatched to keep the peace at a local watering hole. Unluckily for us, he doesn’t show up until after two young women in tiny dresses have a knife fight in a grimy bathroom. Dressed in a blazer and a collared shirt, Gronk’s character utters exactly one line, but it must not be too memorable because . . . we can’t remember it.
Of course, Tom Brady’s favorite target isn’t the first football player to try to make the transition to film. In 1970, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath starred with Ann-Margret in “C.C. & Company,” playing a motorcycle mechanic. O.J. Simpson appeared in “The Naked Gun.” And who can forget former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth’s star turn in the 1991 film “Stone Cold.” None of those guys went on to win an Academy Award, and we’re guessing that Gronkowski won’t either.
Before the movie Friday, Mary DiCenzo was sitting at the front of the theater, a pretzel smeared with mustard on her lap. The Somerville resident told us she often goes to the movies in the afternoon and isn’t finicky about what she sees.
“I just like to relax,” she said.
Afterward, though, DiCenzo looked a little stricken, as if maybe she should have chosen a movie more carefully.
“It wasn’t great, I guess,” she said. “And the pretzel was soggy.”Mark Shanahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org