Despite Step-Up 3D and Cats and Dogs 2, Stay strong, Would-Be Screenwriters!
Posted by: Jeremey Gingrich
I wanted to get a review out to the public during the week. I was blessed with a break in my always busy schedule and attempted to watch CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE to write the review and get it to the public (whom I love so dearly) so that they might make an informed decision at the box office. I’m sorry, good people, but I have let you down. I had to leave CATS & DOGS 2 twenty minutes into the thing. And in those twenty minutes, as I watched the inane blather of what the narrator of FIGHT CLUB called “the snooty cat and the courageous dog with the celebrity voices,” I thought about Los Angeles for a bit, and became instantly enraged. So I had to leave the theater to put my rage into a more coherent thought. I would like to share that thought with you now.
I thought about Los Angeles and I thought about New York. And I thought about the countless waiters and hostesses and busboys and hat check girls (they still have hat check girls, right?) that are working their way through these cities, toiling at minimum wage/minimum hours jobs and focusing their off time on writing scripts to be made into movies of which they can be proud. I thought about the waiter from Carmine’s that dropped a plate of Chicken Parmesan when I last visited New York, no doubt lost in thought over the classic dénouement he was putting on a script concerning the tortured relationship of a father and son. I thought about the woman writing a romantic comedy that was empowering to women but also touched on the classic contradictions in human relationships…and I thought about the nights she spends serving drinks at bar on Ventura, enduring all the cheesy come-ons and ogling customers. And I respect those people on those boulevards of broken dreams, and encourage them to keep at it a little while longer.
Other writers give up on their passion projects of emotional or complicated themes to write fluff like CATS & DOGS or this month’s ridiculous STEP UP 3D (though I did watch that, because “one move can set a whole generation free”). And maybe they get the payday, and maybe they get out of work at the bar on Ventura, but a little piece of the most successful art we have going on right now dies. The release of Christopher Nolan’s INCEPTION has invigorated people’s faith in Hollywood’s ability to create an original, captivating story with genuine emotion that excites the visual senses as well as a part of your brain that maybe you’d forgotten about. You mean to tell me Chris Nolan is the only guy that can come up with that? I say “No!” I’m glad he’s out there, but I say there are more. Check out your bars and restaurants. Check out the clerks in book stores or Best Buys in the big entertainment centers of America. I’ll bet you there out there, suffering at menial jobs with flexible hours so they can spend the majority of their day working on their screenplays. And you guys and gals keep fighting the good fight. As a culture we will rise above the CATS & DOGS movies of the world, and you will help us. Keep hope alive! Keep bussing those tables, keep serving those drinks, and take comfort in the fact that true artistic brilliance usually comes with a period of suffering…and your time at The Olive Garden is yours. Table for two, please.