The Old Soft Neck Sentimentality
July 18, 2009 1 Comment
Quick question/rant for you: why do the promotional materials for Apatow’s new movie Funny People throw me into instant crank?
Note the immense effort to have a slack face? They want us to know they aren’t funny, but they are real, tender and sour (just like us!).
Note the vague teariness? The soft necks? Like the posters for The Big Chill, we are supposed to understand that these people love each other. And, like The Big Chill, the posturing is overly precious, shouting the sentimentality instead of earning it. When I see these Funny People billboards around town I am not charmed. I am instantly irritated (can you tell?), and feel as if I am being played. Trust us, Rogen’s awkward teddy bear lean and Sandler’s melancholic grin say to me each time, we are going to be serious here, but like, funny, you know, and well, you are going to think we are really deep after seeing this movie. It’s amazing when guys like us cry. The blonde woman is the only one I trust in the poster. She looks like she is doing her job.
I sound so bitter here, and I don’t think I really am. I am actually excited about this movie, and look forward to seeing it. This poster is the only part that is repelling me. I usually don’t have strong reactions to posters beyond amusement. This one kind of makes me want to punch Rogen in the neck (and I am not a hitter, really!).
Also, the irritation is compounded by the grand announcement at the start of the trailer that announces “The Third Film by Judd Apatow.” It all seems so self aware (and not in the adorably self-conscious way that increases charm). The gesture here is so broad, and hopefully more transparent than the movie itself.
Am I wrong about The Big Chill?
Your own softnecked, shoulder-leaning galumpf,