December 10, 2004

Be Like Your Favorite Literary Figure

Last night, Cinecultist caught a post-day job screening of the much buzzed about movie, Finding Neverland starring one of our first American thespians, Mr. Johnny Depp. As soon as the "The End" title faded and the credits began to roll, CC and our movie going buddy, Capn' Design, launched into a debate* over whether this could be indeed considered the best movie of the year (as the National Board of Review thought last week), surely causing rampant second-guessing around us in theater and probably ruining our fellow audience member's viewing experience.

This kind of bitchy criticism for criticism's sake reminded CC that we recalled Dorothy Parker wrote reviews of J.M. Barrie plays and was a tad harsh on his sweetness and nostalgia for childhood. But then we were worried CC was just thinking of that one review where she rips A.A. ("Winnie the Pooh") Milne a new one. Rushing home to our Portable Dorothy Parker (no household should be without one), we were relieved to discover, she ragged on both of them. Gotta love our girl Dorothy! Just when you think the sight of Johnny Depp communing in an Irish accent with sickly Kate Winslet and her four towheaded poppets is enough to warm your heart through to new year's, you re-read some acidic DP and all is right in the world.

"I suppose that the fair thing to do is to let the blame for the dullness and the embarrassment of The Admirable Crichton rest equally upon the cast and upon Sir J. M. ("Never-Grow-Up") Barrie. It doesn't, I feel, matter. Conciseness is not my gift. All my envy goes to the inspired Mr. Walter Winchell, who walked wanly out into the foyer after the third act—there are four and they are long, long acts—and summed up the whole thing in the phrase, "Well, for Crichton out loud!"

Personal: Robert Benchley, please come home. A joke's a joke."
- from "No More Fun" published in The New Yorker, March 21, 1931

*By the by, CC's stance was "good but surely not the best thing we saw this year," while the Capn' says, "really like it right now, but not sure how I'll feel about it tomorrow."

Posted by karen at December 10, 2004 8:30 AM