Thursday, January 24, 2008
PP Movie Review: The Heartbreak Kid
Go See it!
I just came in from seeing Ben Stiller’s Heartbreak Kid. I know now that I could never be an actual film critic, because obviously, I’m just too easy to please. The derivation of the word critic is to criticize—to be the opponent of, to condemn, disparage and disapprove.
Thinking that surely this movie would get some critical acclaim, I got my bubble rudely burst just now when I went online to see how well the movie did with the “real” critics; and well, most of them lived up to their name—they didn’t like it.
Well screw ‘em, coz I LOVED this movie. I laughed, chuckled and giggled from the moment it started and was laughing on the way out. My movie mate loved it as well, but listening around the rest of the theater I did notice that not many other people were enjoying it nearly as much as I did. I shrugged it off as a cultural thing, thinking that maybe Filipino funny bones don’t have the same harmonics as American ones. Then again, there were only about a dozen other folks watching the movie besides us.
Ben Stiller cracks me up anyway. There’s something about his deadpan face and average schmoe reactions that make me identify with the guy. He’s short, not all that great looking and comes across as a bit of a loser—no wonder he reminds me of me!
Ben’s dad is in the movie too, playing his dad. Jerry Stiller is a hoot. I love his in-your-face New York Jew-guy attitude. He always plays the same character. For years on TV he's played it in shows like the King of Queens and Seinfeld. Has he ever played anything else? You know exactly what you’re going to get with him; and what Jerry Stiller gives, I get, and I never get enough. He’s loveably crude and rude—he’s New York!
Getting back to the film critic subject... a guy I’ve known here for years, an American writer named Steve, had been watching the movie too. I saw him on the way out and greeted him with a hello and a laughing declaration of my continued admiration of Ben Stiller movies. I was hoping for a fellow fan, but it turns out he is not nearly as enamored as I am. Well, THAT put a wet blanket all over my enthusiasm.
He didn’t even want to discuss the movie we’d just seen and instead asked if I’d seen the original Charles Grodin/Cybil Shephard version which he thought far superior. Then, come to think of it, I realized that I hadn’t heard him laugh or titter even once during the entire thing, so I began to have misgivings that Steve even HAD a sense of humor. But then, it occurred to me that he had watched the movie solo, and everyone knows that a comedy MUST be watched with a friend. Otherwise, even the funniest bits don’t seem quite so humorous. So, I decided to cut him some slack on the “not having a sense of humor” possibility.
Ever Hopeful, I threw out one more line to him, asking if he’d had the chance to see Sweeney Todd, a film that I think, as of now, to be Tim Burton’s pièce de résistance. Steve had indeed seen it, but again, wasn’t all that excited. He started babbling on about weaknesses with the music and storyline, and blah blah blah, and right about then I’d just about had enough of old Steve. I mentally tuned him out thinking: ‘Ehhh! This guy doesn’t like anything. Time to say goodnight.’
Did anyone else like this hilarious comedy? I had to know. I was beginning to have my doubts. Maybe I’m just weird. (Okay, I already KNOW the answer to that!)
Well, check this out: according to Wikipedia, as of November 27, 2007 The Heartbreak Kid has grossed $100,000,000! Ha! Up YOURS critics! So yes, a WHOLE lot of other folks liked it too. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it Stevey Boy!