28 December 2010

27 Dec - "He hates these cans!"

The Jerk (1979)

dir. Carl Reiner

Steve Martin (It's Complicated, 2009)
Bernadette Peters (Anastasia (voice), 1997)
M. Emmet Walsh (Romeo + Juliet, 1996)
Carl Gottlieb (Clueless, 1995)
Bill Macy (The Holiday, 2006)

On Christmas there was a Freaks and Geeks marathon on IFC, which I alternated watching with the Mythbusters marathon on Discovery Channel. F+G is on my netflix queue (I'll start watching it after I finish the third season of The Tudors, I'm DYING to discover what becomes of Anne of Cleves), so I though I'd get the one-up, but one thing those nerds are always talking about is 1) The Jerk, 2) Stripes, 3) Caddyshack, so when I saw The Jerk on TV, I tuned in.

First of all, can anyone prove to me that Steve Martin was ever young? He must be one of those guys who went gray in his 20s, or else something frightened him very badly as a child. One time my cat got sick and I had to feed him with a syringe connected to a tube that the vet stuck into his neck, and his whole face went white (he's one of those Siamese cats with the black faces), but then he got better and his colors went back to normal. Evidently Mr. Martin was not so lucky.

This is like a slapstick comedy, and it's pretty funny, but ultimately, not my cup of tea. I enjoyed it, but I was not guffawing the whole time. I can see why the boys on that TV show liked it.

On another note, I decided to remove all incidences of the label "female protagonist." Because that shouldn't matter, right? I didn't have a label for "male protagonist," because all too often the neutral gaze is assumed to be male, specifically, a white male. It reminds me of a creative writing class I took in college, and we read a classmate's assignment and were discussing it, and I pointed out that it wasn't until almost the end of the story when some line of narrative made evident that the protagonist of the story was Asian, and it was surprising, maybe a little jarring, because until that point I had tacitly assumed she was white. The other anglos in the class, even the teacher, agreed that they noticed the same thing. We had a whole conversation it. So anyway, no more of that, ok?

No comments:

Post a Comment