Recently, the media (kind of) praised Congress for reaching a "sky-high" approval rating of 16 percent, a figure considerably better than its previously historic lows, in which our government leaders were consistently polling in the single digits. This is kind of like saying that you've downgraded from having a deadly flesh-eating virus to leprosy. To illustrate how bad things still are, I would first like to remind everyone that Congress has an approval rating on par with Paris Hilton (13 percent), pornography (30 percent), polygamy (11 percent), Nixon (23 percent), BP during the oil spill (16 percent), the banks (23 percent) and "America going Communist" (11 percent). It seems that herpes (affecting 20 percent of the population) is also more popular than Congress.
If you are somehow still unconvinced of the lingering problem, here are some movies on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes that received either the same approval rating as Congress, or somehow got better reviews than our chief legislative body. If it's any solace to Congress, Gigli and Glitter received scores of seven percent on Rotten Tomatoes, making Congress slightly more than twice as popular as those. And if John Boehner and crew really want to feel good about themselves, they should know they are more than three times as good as Swept Away (five percent). That's really something to celebrate.
Howard the Duck (16 percent)
Accolades: Winner of four Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, a nominee for Worst Picture of the Decade and an infamous flop at the box office. (It also features interspecies duck nookie and ruined my childhood.)
"As bad as you've heard. Actually, it's worse." - Keith Phipps, Slate
"Everyone concerned with this should have been seated on a ducking stool and drenched." - TV Guide
Alexander (16 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for six Razzie Awards.
"Not just a bad movie but a bad movie of truly epic proportions." - Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"An act of hubris so huge that, in Alexander's time, it would draw lightning bolts from contemptuous gods. Today it will get sniggers from stunned critics and a collective yawn from a public unlikely to share [such] egomania." - Lawrence Toppmann, Charlotte Observer
Sweet November (16 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for three Razzies.
"If [it] were a puppy, it would have rabies." - Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A front-end collision." - Dennis Thomson, Washington Post
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (17 percent)
Accolades: Not yet honored with Razzies.
"The standards of all involved are so obviously floorboard-high, there's not much to say after the lights come up other than one of Blaze's 'one-liners': 'So, that happened.'" - Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"[S]o bad that the projector attempted suicide multiple times during the opening-day public showing I attended. This is very nearly the literal truth." - MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
I Don't Know How She Does It (17 percent)
Accolades: Set the women's movement back ten years.
"So bad it's hard to imagine anything saving it." - Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"If there were some kind of law that movie titles should be truthful, I Don't Know How She Does It would never pass muster. Instead, the Sarah Jessica Parker comedy would be opening with the name Please Don't Make Me Watch Another Minute of It." - Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic
Georgia Rule (17 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for two Teen Choice awards.
"Certain words should be reserved for special occasions. 'Abysmal' is one of them, and [this] is as special as such occasions get." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"If there is a 'What Were They Thinking?' Hall of Shame, there's a whole wall preserved for [this]." - Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
The Happening (18 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for four Razzies.
"[A]n astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined." - Christopher Orr, The New Republic
"You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career." - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
Dude, Where's My Car? (18 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for three Teen Choice awards.
"To paraphrase Bart Simpson, it achieves the impossible by both sucking and blowing at the same time." - Mike McGranahan, Aisle Seat
"Any civilization that can produce [something] this stupid probably deserves to be hit by famine and pestilence." - USA Today
Valentine's Day (18 percent)
Accolades: Winner of two Razzie awards, nominated for four and responsible for four more, when this helped make New Year's Eve a thing.
"This is probably how it feels to be strangled with a candy necklace." - Matt Pais, Metromix
"Less funny or romantic than your average colonoscopy, this cringe-inducing bore provides dubious employment [for everyone involved}." - Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Just Go With It (19 percent)
Accolades: Winner of two Razzies and two Teen Choice awards, proving you can have it all.
"If they were showing this on an airplane, I'd ask for a parachute." - Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
"Everyone should be offended by the time-annihilating suckage of this mirth void." - Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Stuffed with unpleasant narcissists saying and doing the stupidest, often cruelest things." - David Germain, Associated Free Press
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (19 percent)
Accolades: None, sadly.
"Shrill and charmless. I didn't believe a word of it. I wanted to spank it and banish it to its room." - Mary Pols, Time
"There isn't even, really, any point. There is, however, throw-up, poo, pee and lots of running around and screaming." - Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
Shadowboxer (19 percent)
Accolades: Winner of the most bats**t bonkers movie I've ever seen.
"After 90-odd minutes of bludgeoning us into open-jawed bafflement, [this] is best aborted, and flushed away as one of 2006′s more unpleasant memories." - Jay Antani, Slant Magazine
"The one thing I'll say...is that it's never boring. Of course, I could also say that about stepping on crushed glass." - Richard Roeper, Ebert and Roeper
The Last Song (19 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for Worst Actress for Miley Cyrus, which she was criminally snubbed for. (What does a girl have to do to get recognized?)
"[This] is what the crinkle-nosed Southern belle in all of us would resoundingly deem 'Trash! Trash! Trash!'" - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"So bad it makes The Notebook look like Casablanca." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (20 percent)
Accolades: Nominated for one Oscar?
"If you want to save yourself...go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"You asked for this, America." - Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly
That's My Boy (22 percent)
"Even with 87.5 years to go, the 21st century may never see a stupider comedy than That's My Boy." - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch something funnier than [this]. It's a video of my mother being torn apart by bears. Good day." - Erik D. Snider, Film.com