Cover of Funny PeopleIt's not like my words are polluting the Gulf of Mexico (which puts the bar pretty low, but at least there's a bar).
Anyway, here's a thought. Since Netflix uses one's movie ratings to predict which movies you will like, a feature I do find useful when I'm in doubt, I now find myself putting up an early "in mind" rating as I watch a movie. This corresponds roughly to the practice I assume most reporters follow of grabbing onto a tentative lead as they report a single-interview story.
(You are not at ease until something is said or seen that would work as a lead. You do not want to become complacent and cease being vigilant for something better, but your anxiety level drops because you know you have, at least, *something*.)
Point is as E. and I recover from the virus we picked up traveling in the Great American South for the past two weeks, I watched some cable TV, including Judd Apatow's "Funny People." In the first half hour it earned a tentative four stars with its sour portrayal of Adam
Sandler as a hack comic actor -- which may not have been Apatow's intended reading --suffering from a terminal disease. But then AS is cured, and it became a kind of domestic comedy of reclaiming a lost love by breaking up her family, and my rating slid back to three stars, as any surprises in the script evaporated.
That's all I have to say, though (again) it applies to certain kinds of feature writing, which I will be teaching this fall. Better a flawed mishmash with bits of sparkle than coherent mediocrity -- for me anyway.
Good summer fun: thinking about what I am going to teach in the fall and hoping this time I will get it right, though considering what I have just written, better to get it really right some days at the cost of getting it really wrong others.
I can do that. I always have.