Eat Pray Love (2010) -vs- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

August 14, 2010 Sherry Coben

I am not a thirteen year old boy. I do not read comics. Sorry. Graphic novels. I do not play video games. I am a dinosaur. Still, faced on Friday with a couple of hours to kill and choice of watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World or Eat Pray Love, I reflexively embraced my inner middle-schooler and turned my back on Oprah’s minions, setting the estrogen fest aside for a Saturday matinee.

Summer strikes me as the perfect time for stylish twaddle, and I enjoy defying expectations. (Not enough that I’d entertain the thought of seeing the meathead offering The Expendables.) I know that I’m the target for a movie about a middle-aged woman on a quest. Hell, I’m the effing bullseye on the target. Plus Julia Roberts is a bona fide movie star, and I love looking at that divine face on the big screen every chance I get.

On the other hand, Michael Cera is a guy who gets to star in movies, lots and lots of them, for reasons that don’t quite resonate for me. A little of Cera goes a mighty long way, and a lot of him wears super duper thin. One-trick ponies amuse and even delight the first few times they go through their paces, but eventually, the audience clamors for more. […]

Get Him To The Greek (2010) -vs- Almost Famous (2000)

June 6, 2010 Sherry Coben

The world is getting worse. I realize that my perception is colored by my advancing age and my own inevitable glorification of the halcyon days past, but I think it’s also true. The world is less civilized, less kind, less gentle, and the vulgarization of popular taste is either an unhappy result or partial cause of the precipitous downslide. Judd Apatow’s films capture something in the culture that grates on me; they have heart, but they also try to deliver on a boyish crudeness, an acceptance of careless behavior with little to no consequence. It’s the having it both ways that rankles so much; I would pay no attention to these films at all if they didn’t try so hard to be sweet. But the sweetness is buried in so much profanity and offensiveness; not liking these films makes me feel like a prude, and that’s not a feeling I enjoy. I don’t think I’m being a prude when I object to portraying heroin use and trafficking as a comic convention; there’s nothing funny about forcing an employee to shove a baggie of heroin up his ass while in line at an airport. I’m sorry. That’s not okay with me. The fact that the movie makes that incident not just okay but just another story beat in its salacious, bawdy, saucy naughtiness concerns me. Forcing that same someone to use a cocktail of drugs including meth and heroin strikes me as even more appalling. Making light of such drug abuse is just plain wrong.
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