I grab the mic. No longer an Everyman, another face in the crowd, a safely indistinct unit among the species, I’m on stage. In a microsecond their eyes focus and it’s Them and Me. My job is simple: to entertain. But really it’s, as show business terminology puts it, to kill and not be killed. So I deliver the lines I’ve practiced a hundred times to get it just right. With as much confidence and command as I can summon, I deliver the lines. And nothing happens. The room is silent, the faces without expression. I have died.
LET US BEGIN by acknowledging the obvious, that the 2011 movie Crazy, Stupid, Love is light and pleasant, adult fare but hardly a work of depth or of high seriousness. Its architecture is thoroughly of a Shakespearean cast, in which a main plot is complemented by and interweaved with two sub-plots. A moment arrives when the characters and their dramatic trajectories, hitherto discrete, collide one with another to calamitous effect. Things fall to pieces, and from this seeming state of irreparable chaos order is reinstated. This narrative arc, from social order to disorder and back to order once again, with no lasting harm done, is the essence of Comedy.
Continue reading Crazy, Stupid, Love and the Comedy of Middle Aged Failure →
THE TRAILER FOR Matt Harlock’s and Paul Thomas’s 2009 documentary film “The Bill Hicks Story” begins with a quotation attributed by Charles Walker to George Orwell in a 2000 book called My Few Wise Words of Wisdom: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.