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two cents on three dollars of Hollywood comedy

For the sake of full disclosure–it seems critical that you and Chris Bosh’s 2-week unreality camera crew have public access to my life although it bears no relevance to his impending border crossing pour le saison chaud de menage a trois in sunny Florida:

For the first time in months we rented movies, and I chose from our local shiny, red 1-dollar DVD drop box, the anti-tourist Daniel Kalder’s fav It’s Complicated along with a second choice, Youth In Revolt (being out of the film loop and choosing only by the cover displays no less!).

Yes, DK’s points (see his kind words at http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/2009/10/28/trailer-review-meryl-streep-and-alec-baldwin-star-in-its-complicated/) are well taken (as well as commenter Sophie’s and I do pity the crew, yes I do, who had to stand around beautiful Santa Barbara and point equipment at Alec Baldwin), and yet long removed from this world of Hollywood comedy, we watched It’s C. first and laughed a lot! It was kind of like cathartic, just what the doctor ordered laughter.

But then again, we don’t have TV, stereo, or much else in a very quiet small town in the summer. There was one early scene where I feared the worst, the 50ish women gathering to nibble and discuss their lives and dismal prospects for love (I very much prefer my own 40ish clandestine nibbling here, alone with pretzels or ice cream or my own questionable choices in literature or chances for all kinds of things).

Youth in Revolt was more intriguing I suppose, and I’ve always been a sucker for pseudo-Indy teen-angst films, and then the topper is a week later, at this point positively addicted to the cinema of Hollywood comedy, I chose Four Christmases.

Four Christmases was okay--no doubt better than what 4 Kwanzas or 4 Channukahs would have been and I can't remember if I saw Four Weddings and a Funeral or not--but I did begin to get a bit burnt out on Hollywood comedies.


If there is a shared message of all three films, it seems to be that love is still possible in an age of plentiful and easy-access divorce and that divorce can be a funny topic too, not some taboo, "oh, that’s so awful, what those poor children or poor mother had to go through," etc. And also, that parents can be superfreaky, strange, and scary people (alas, another comedy we fall into, parenting). Then, I realized that perhaps my favorite comedy, The Daytrippers, has the same themes. And most of Woody Allen as well. And all of situation-comedy TV? I suppose.

Will I succumb once more to the DVD drop box and rent that Demi Moore–Parker Posey interlude with “Tears” in the title? Wouldn’t Chris Bosh’s camera crew like to know? No? Oh. Well, I suppose renting from the drop box is less exhausting than winning the NBA title.

And on a related note, please Phil Jackson (or Doc Rivers or Doug Collins or any other basketball coach who helps Oprah and amazon and borders sell books), when assigning literature to next season's team, consider selecting the film novelization of Fight for Your Long Day. Originally written for screen--as a Philip Seymour Hoffman "plot mule" and product-placement bonanza--this novel of urban angst and travail would make fine reading for any of the national basketball association's high school graduates.

TGIF, keep fighting the good fight, and keep Fight[-ing] for Your Long Day.

Peace.

(And yes, I almost wrote the whole thing without writing the word Lebron.)

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