Monday, July 09, 2007
I read a review recently of books about reviewing books. Its subject, I suppose, and its purpose, was to criticize the criticism of critics criticizing criticism. The author of said article belittled the standard practice of using this formula in reviews:
A is like B meets C, as in:
Donnie Darko is like The World According to Garp meets Edward Scissorhands.
Belittlable or not, I'll continue using this formula, because for an intellectually curious and fundamentally lazy person like myself, it helps express what I want to say about a film or book quickly. In fact, I'll say that Donnie Darko is like The World According to Garp meets Edward Scissorhands with a bit of Evil Dead thrown in (A is like B meets C plus D). Not because Donnie Darko has any technical or thematic association with Sam Raimi's brutally original horror flick*, but because some characters in Donnie Darko actually go to see Evil Dead, and there are literally bits of Evil Dead seen in the film.
I shan't recommend Donnie Darko. Mostly my response was "whatever," though occasionally it improved to "eh." Patrick Swayze's role was a surprise at least.
*There is, of course, a dead character in Donnie Darko who is evil. Or whose behavior seems to be evil. I'm sorry if that's a spoiler. Whatever.