Monday, July 3, 2006

Being the Everyman is overrated

The film critics for the New York Times occasionally put out an article that provides intelligent insight into film theory. This article is no exception. I urge everyone to read With a Great Wink, Films Like 'Click' Trumpet One Message but Mean Another.

The article gives a few examples of where this is used in Hollywood, but falls short of pointing out that this is just their marketing trend. Almost every Hollywood movie does this.

But you don't need me to point that out for you, I'm sure you came to that conclusion yourself.

This thing I wanted to talk about with this article is the information that is given at the end: "Click" in it's opening weekend did better than "Eternal Sunshine On The Spotless Mind" in it's entire United States run. That is just sad.

I was at a College Graduation BBQ yesterday for a good friend of mine and one of the conversations that came up was movies. My friend, who's known me and my tastes for a little under ten years told me that I must see "Click" because it's the "funniest movie ever".

First, I admit I haven't seen "Click" yet, nor do I plan to. All speculation on this movie is made via previews, professional movie reviews and friends reviews. Secondly I have to admit that Adam Sandler has made some ridiculously funny movies in the past, and I've enjoyed them ("Billy Madison", "Happy Gilmore", "Big Daddy", etc) so the suggestion of an Adam Sandler movie to me is not the most horrible idea ever, but one has to admit, his movies ain't what they used to be.

Alright, the fact that people have made a movie like "Click" just shows how much good screenplays mean to Hollywood: Nothing. The fact that hack writing is considered the norm, and what people want to see is just horrible. Yes, I know the theory that sometimes people just want to see a "safe movie" or one that doesn't extract too much emotion either way out of someone, and to an extent I can understand that. But how can one sit through mindless bullshit?! "Billy Madison" was a safe movie, and was funny. But unlike newer Sandler fare like his interpretation of a Hollywood classic "Mr. Deeds" (ok, not so much new)"Billy Madison" was cleverly written and just outright absurd. Sandler played a slacker who was worth nothing, and not only won the girl and had fun (and learned a lesson blah blah blah) but also related to its audience and got us on his side. He did this all without using pure stock characters and falling into the mindless gap known as clich├ęs. "Mr. Deeds" on the other hand had him playing a ready-made charming underdog who we knew from the beginning was going to get the girl. No lesson needed to be learned because he was already perfect, it was just the world around him that was insane. His biggest flaw was his black foot, which as we remember was used to his advantage. Yes, I know Sandler was playing the same role as Gary Cooper's version of the Everyman Mr. Deeds in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" but that's no excuse to make garbage. Hell, even the original was pure Hollywood smaltz, but at least I saw somewhat of a heart in it. Sandler's version was just garbage to keep him fresh in the public's image...I mean it wasn't as if the amazing "Punch Drunk love" didn't just finish it's theatre run, and "Eight Crazy Nights" wasn't about to come out two months later...oh wait.

Ok, this was supposed to be about "Click", right? Yeah...now this trend with Hollywood of course isn't just in Adam Sandler movies, but everywhere...I guess we can't stop that, because apparently it's what the people want. The fact that my friend not only suggested this movie to me, but also proclaimed it the "Funniest movie ever" is just outright sad. People want to see shit. Meanwhile gold like "Eternal Sunshine" is deemed "boring" by the masses. I don't know what to do anymore...nobody wants to work to understand a movie, nobody wants to learn anything, all anyone wants anymore is to be that everyman who from the beginning is predestined to get the girl and not change for the better at all.

Oh, and John Turturro's character was hysterical.