Most memorable moments at the MTV Movie Awards: The show looked cool, and Dakota showed star power, but the sketches fell flat, and the Breakfast Club had poor attendance
Jimmy Fallon
Credit: Jimmy Fallon: Michael Caulfield/

Most memorable moments at the MTV Movie Awards

With one exception, the MTV Movie Awards do everything better than the Academy Awards. Graphics: No contest — the Oscars don’t even have them, whereas MTV’s graphics top themselves year after year. Set design: The Academy Awards set always looks like that time Aunt Maxine held her 50th-anniversary party aboard the Enterprise, whereas the MTV set always looks way too hip and scary for anyone so uncool as to be watching the show on TV instead of sitting in the audience. Clothes: The Oscars only show the stars trying to look gawgeous, whereas the MTV awards show the stars trying to wear what they think the young folks will like. This can result in brilliant interpretations of cool, such as Dakota Fanning’s gilded ensemble at the awards last night. Somehow it managed to be simultaneously perfect for an 11-year-old and exactly the kind of thing no 11-year-old’s mother would allow her out of the house in. On the other hand, there was Sandra Bullock’s ”I sewed it myself with a Butterick pattern!” smock-and-jeans mélange and Katie Holmes’ ”I’m Valerie Bertinelli!” jumpsuit — but those were equally fun, if you think being sad is fun.

The one area in which the MTV Movie Awards can’t quite match the Oscars is in — well — the movies themselves. Since a poll of MTV viewers determines the nominees and winners, the films end up being all over the place, which is why Napoleon Dynamite won Best Movie last night. Generally, the MTV awards focus on pictures you couldn’t wait to see but then decided to skip (Troy); ones you didn’t want to see although you didn’t exactly object to them (Dodgeball); and ones you never would have wanted to see even if you had known they’d been released (The Girl Next Door). But that hardly matters, since the MTV awards are for things like Best Kiss, Best Fight, and Best Frightened Performance — much more interesting than blah categories like the Oscars’ Best Short Documentary and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

I now salute some of the evening’s most memorable moments — good and bad — with my own awards.

Tonight’s award for Best Acceptance Speech is shared by the oldest and youngest winners on the show: Dustin Hoffman and Dakota Fanning. It’s not that what they said was so memorable — and Dakota’s agent should get her to lose that Goldie Hawn-ish giggle — but that they’d actually rehearsed a speech in case they needed one. Most of the actors who won pretended they had no idea they’d even been nominated. On winning Breakthrough Female Performance for Mean Girls, Rachel McAdams chirped, ”I don’t know if I’ve arrived, but wherever this is, it’s nice to be here.” Her male counterpart, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), babbled, ”Well, thank you. I’m really nervous. Well, thank you to the voters and the fans especially. . . . Once again, the fans. You guys are awesome!”

Speaking of breakthroughs, the Best Non-Breakthrough Performance goes to presenter Jessica Alba’s arms. Apparently losing the courage of her nipples, she kept nervously crossing and recrossing her arms over her sheer, sheer top.

My award for Worst Kiss goes to the stars of The Notebook, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who — ironically! — won the show’s Best Kiss Award and re-created their winning smooch onstage. It might’ve worked, except that Gosling was visibly chewing gum as he walked up to accept the popcorn bucket. He was chewing as he aimed his lips toward McAdams. And he immediately began chomping away again once they’d unlocked their faces. Eww.

The Most Unamusing Skit Even Though It’s Probably Not Their Fault award goes to Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson for their endless thing about teaching kids to crash parties. All the skits on the show were lame, but this one went on the longest and had the worst payoff: Pam Anderson. Pam Anderson! To the MTV generation, isn’t she as dead as Princess Grace?

The Most Pointless Reunion goes to The Breakfast Club cast — well, three-fifths of them. I grant you that The Breakfast Club is one of the best movies ever, so good that I actually paid my daughter to watch it when she kept refusing. (Afterward, she admitted that I was right.) But why bring them onstage for a reunion if you couldn’t trap all of them? Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez can’t have had anything that much better to do. (Bonus points to Anthony Michael Hall for joking, ”They’re in Africa with Dave Chappelle.”)

Actor Who, If You Close Your Eyes, Sounds the Most Like an Old Man on a Sitcom Vin Diesel.

Best Reason Not to Announce the Stars in Alphabetical Order ”Eminem . . . Katie Holmes . . . Chris Rock . . . the Rock. . . .”

Best Screwing With the Awards-Show Formula Jimmy Fallon’s argument with the announcer. For the most part, the MTV Movie Awards would actually be better without any people. Graphics could take care of the whole thing, and then we wouldn’t have to see Mariah Carey sing. But hearing an announcer crow, ”J-i-i-i-m-m-m-m-y, you’ve just killed Frankie Muniz!” — well, that makes having real presenters almost worth it.

What did you think? What were your most memorable moments? Which musical performance was the best? And how was Jimmy Fallon as a host?