Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
My feeling is that the best comedies stay with you beyond the immediate thrill and endorphin rush that comes with the laughter because they’ll also tell you something about yourself that you either didn’t know or you didn’t quite know how to express into words.
Clue, Noises Off…, Bringing Up Baby, Duck Soup, and The Princess Bride are five of my favorite film comedies, arguably my Top Five, and what I know about myself from these preferences is that I appreciate wit, precision, satire, and a love of swashbuckling; all of which, I think, show up in the writing I gravitate towards creating myself.
Earlier today I was able to calcify another such truth about myself through the attempted viewing of Be Kind Rewind, which is not likely to crack even my Top Twenty on my list of favorite film comedies1.
I determined that I really, really hate Jack Black.
That’s not the actual personal revelation, though, so much as the glimmering nugget that led me to it. I was never really a fan of Jack Black to begin with, but it’s actually not about Jack Black as a person so much as it is the archetype that Jack Black plays in almost every movie I’ve ever seen him in.
Jack Black often plays the fool, and that in and of itself I have no problem with. I enjoy fools. I don’t mind watching stupid characters get into stupid situations and yet come out of them no smarter, protected by the same God that also looks after small children. Stan Laurel is delightful, as are Flight of the Conchords.
No, my problem, the thing that makes it hard for me to tolerate more than a few minutes of Jack Black at a time, is that I don’t do very well suffering fools who are also arrogant, destructive jackasses.
(The corollary to this, I will add, is that I have no such problem watching arrogant, destructive jackasses who are also incredibly intelligent.)
Be Kind Rewind may actually turn out to be a very funny film that just takes a little too long to build to its riotous payoff. Right now, though, I don’t know how much more I can watch of Black’s character ruining each of his and Def’s schemes through only his braying, self-absorbed antics.
And what it made me wonder…
…would I be less angry with this clown if he had only been a bumbling idiot, instead of an idiot whose complementary arrogance, vanity, and cockamamie ambitions led him to fuck up several countries and the lives of thousands?
I can be patient, to a degree, with ineptitude. Ineptitude can be overcome, I feel, much more easily than hubris.
Tonight, I think I’ll come home from the show and watch Enchanted instead of the rest of Be Kind Rewind, and I think I’ll do my best to avoid Jack Black from here on out.
1And honestly, that disappoints me, as I love watching Mos Def and greatly enjoyed Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and was therefore hoping for more than the tepid film I turned off after forty minutes of scarcely an elicited titter.