Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

August 21, 2010

Movies For Schmucks...

I am often constrained to believe what the movie critics say...too much. Some of the ones they have panned lately, my wife and I have liked. But do you think I can think of one right now? Maybe later.

But I do get very peeved when one is given a fairly high rating, and is promoted high and low, on talk shows, on national radio, in the newspapers - and it turns out to be a bomb...for me at least. One such lately was "Dinner For Schmucks". I had enjoyed Steve Carrel in "Evan Almighty" and "Dan In Real Life". "Date Night" was going pretty well until he deteriorated into inane sexual humor at the end, as if looking desperately for an ending. What I saw of "The 40-Year Old Virgin" was also disgusting in its appeal to the lowest common denominator - raunchy sex references throughout, while trying to make us feel sorry for him that he had retained his virginity.

But when we out to see "Dinner For Schmucks" recently, we went with some high hopes of a repeat of Carell's better not his seamier side, having read a review that gave it a B. As we watched, and I waited for something funny I could at least muster up a chuckle for,  having told my wife that the review I read said it would be a little slow going until the funny dinner part.  I was sorely disappointed.

The dinner was a disaster, a total reduction into silliness and blatant sexual references that were just not funny. And as I thought about how the movie got there, it seemed to me to an utter self-indulgence on Steve's part, a poor attempt to try to make us laugh just because it was him. And he must think he's so funny now that any little sad story line or facial expression is going to get us to laugh and find him appealing.  Big mistake.

And I thought then about the promos I had seen him do on Lettermen and other shows, actually trying to make us believe that he was trying to make this a believable character, someone worthy of our compassion and pathos, as well as our laughter. What a joke! The joke is really on him in this one, sorry, but I found nothing redeemable about this mousey little guy who collects dead mice to stuff them into little characters we're also supposed to find adorable or tragic or something totally unemotional. And then he ruins the other guy's life as if he's not really trying to but is too cogent to be unaccountable.

I felt like a schmuck for going to it and sitting all the way through, waiting patiently for something real I could say was enjoyable and worth my time and money. Don't waste yours!

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