Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pay Attention to Me

We just watched “Superbad” on DVD and I didn’t think it was funny. I’m not saying I didn’t find a single laugh in the entire movie. I just thought that an hour and 40 minutes of teenage boys mimicking blow jobs and hand jobs and anything else that passes for sex was perhaps an hour and 30 minutes too long.

Clearly there’s something wrong with me.

Entertainment Weekly just proclaimed Judd Apatow—who didn’t write, direct or act in “Superbad” but somehow gets credit for it anyway—as the Smartest Person in Hollywood. “This year, he didn’t just bring the funny; he changed the whole funny business,” raved EW. “Apatow is defining humor for this generation.”

So I had better get on board.

It’s not like I didn’t enjoy “Knocked Up,” Mr. Apatow’s other big hit in 2007, though if you think about the movie too long you start to wonder why you’re rooting for an intelligent woman to settle for a doofus. But at least the film was populated by adults, albeit not necessarily grown-ups.

I guess when you get down to it, my problem with “Superbad” is that it was all about teenagers. Who I try to avoid whenever I can. I didn’t much like being one and I certainly don’t enjoy their company now. Especially not on an “L” train when they’ve just been released from school.

I know they can’t help it, but teenagers are annoying. And stupid. And loud. And annoying.

And almost every movie in America is made with this audience in mind. Except end-of-the-year Oscar bait, and frankly, I’m tired of being depressed every holiday season by joyless fare like “No Country for Old Men.” I haven’t seen it yet, but I believe at the end, Javier Bardem kills Santa. It reminds me of the time I spent the month of December slogging through Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov.” I should have just gone to an animal shelter and watched puppies being tortured. Same effect.

So what’s on my wish list this Christmas? For Mr. Apatow to make a movie for me. Something that snaps, crackles, and pops with witty dialogue but isn’t set in a high school locker room. Think Jane Austen without all the accents and costumes (but not “The Jane Austen Book Club”). I’d offer more suggestions, but if I could come up with a plot, I’d write the screenplay myself.

C’mon, Mr. Apatow. You’re the Smartest Person in Hollywood. How hard can it be?


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