And it leans a little too heavily on the presumed charisma of MacFarlane himself. He stars in the movie as Albert, a contemporary cosmopolitan atheist displaced to an Old West town plagued by a preposterously violent death, where even the hookers (Sarah Silverman) purport to be devout Christians.
As Albert, MacFarlane makes many denunciations of frontier life and the town's simple-minded residents. But the observations are more snide and misanthropic than funny, and you start to believe that the people (Liam Neeson) itching to shoot Albert have the right idea.
MacFarlane, though, thinks that all his riffs come off as irresistible charm. And so he is pursued, mysteriously, by Charlize Theron, whose job in the movie is to give a series of testimonials to his attractiveness.
Since the character is transparently MacFarlane himself, and MacFarlane wrote the character, the constant wonder-of-Seth boosterism is a little creepy.
The movie also reminds you of MacFarlane's Academy Award hosting gig, noted for its complete lack of chivalry. "West" has Theron announcing that she has nice breasts and ends up making fun of Amanda Seyfried's looks.
If the women were allowed to contribute lines, I wonder if they might make a few "friendly" jokes about MacFarlane's Day-Glo West Coast teeth, his Ed Grimley hair-do or his cryogenic Wayne Newton visage.
Because it would be rude.