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My friend Steve sends this email to me:

Now what the fuck am I supposed to do? I see the trailer for "The Soloist" and I think, "No way." Then I see a teaser for Stephanie Zacharek's review at Salon, and it says, "Ignore the trailer, this movie is really good." (Zacharek is not someone I consider a completely reliable anti-authority, someone I can trust to be wrong.) I mean, I'm all about classical music, and the movie is all about classical music, right? I'm about to decide to see the movie, and down at the bottom I notice the usual Salon teaser for "Related Stories" that are probably chosen by a robot following some arcane algorithm, because these aren't reviews of "The Pianist" or "The Piano" but instead it says "Pride & Prejudice": "This deliciously intelligent adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved classic shakes off the dust and sparkles with life." Now "P&P" was very nearly the worst movie ever made. My comment after seeing it was that you could not find, anywhere in the movie, four consecutive seconds that were good, because those wonderful houses were only on the screen for three seconds at a time, and whenever Judi Dench got to speak for three seconds she was answered by Keira Knightley. Donald Sutherland's portrayal of Mr. Bennett was the sort of thing that turns people like me into serial killers. But supposing that I bowed to all the people I know who found it good, or at least tolerable, and I forgot about the book and just saw it as a harmless romantic comedy set in 1813, and someone set me the assignment of saying ten good things about it, I just don't think I would ever have hit on "intelligent" in less than a million years. So do I see "The Soloist" in spite of a recommendation by Stephanie Zacharek? Can you give me any guidance?
I can. And I did:
The Soloist is going to teach you to love again. It's going to stir up your emotions and make you proud to live in a country where black mentally ill cellists are saved by Robert Downey Jr. If you see it, you'll be able to say "YES!" to the other ladies in your bridge club who'll ask if you saw Jamie Foxx's second-Oscar(tm)-winning performance, and then you'll all talk about how naughty you've been because you've each eaten one "bad" thing not on your diet list. But you earned it, because you saw The Soloist and being manipulated by Hollywood is an aerobic activity when accompanied by crying. When each of you goes home, back to your lady-pads, you'll go to Amazon.com and buy the soundtrack to the film and think about what minorities are left that you can save through the power of the human heart and understanding.
You should totally see this movie. It sounds incredible.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
2 questions
1) why can't robert downey jr., one of the sexiest men alive, be in a good movie?
2) why can't jamie foxx go far, far away?

May. 7th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: 2 questions
1) Eugene Levy has sucked up the rest of my "coasting on Mike's goodwill" (which was already at near-drought levels due to the Parker Posey Incident), so the fact that he was in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does little to mitigate our shared sense of bewilderment. I have some hopes for the Sherlock Holmes picture that's coming up -- but that's because, as a Democrat in America, I'm required to remain a cock-eyed optimist even in the face of mitigating circumstances.

2) Dude, I don't even know. He's a crap actor, I have a hole in my ceiling. The world just traffics in unfairity.

Who is this, by the way?
May. 10th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
sorry, the above was I, carrie tryharder.
Jun. 5th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
"I Now Pronounce You Trent and Greg"
Dear Mike,

Thanks for your kind comments about my documentary, "Trent and Greg" on Towleroad back in Dec 2007.

I recently entered the doc in the Project Pushback competition and hope that you will support it by registering on Vimeo and voting for it. The 10 videos with the most votes by June 15 move on to the final round of judging!

Here's how:
1. Create a free user account on vimeo.com (http://vimeo.com/sign_up).
(Please note, you must have a Vimeo account in order to vote.)
2. Vote for "A Friend's Take" (http://vimeo.com/4957872) by clicking the heart-shaped "LIKE" button in the top-right corner of the video screen.

Please also feel free to embed it on your site and encourage others to vote. I'd really appreciate your support.

Steven Tagle
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )