Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tribeca Part 2: "Every day is a gift, but does it have to be socks?"

Again, I have to mention that I know it's bad form to complain about movies that one is lucky enough to be able to see for free. And I feel especially bad about bitching out a fluffy little bunny of a documentary like When Fried Eggs Fly. In a perfect world, I would never have seen it. Tribeca has this little screening library where press people can go and watch DVDs or tapes from a select library. I had about 75 minutes to kill between screenings, so I figured it would be a good time to watch the aforementioned Maquilopolis, but for some reason that screener wasn't available. They tell me that you can't take the screeners out, but then that screener is still somehow out, so maybe it's just us lowly Franklin Pass people that can't take them out. Anyway, the only other film I have time for is this doc about a music teacher at Manhattan's PS 3 who gets 150 or so kids, their parents, and the other teachers to compose, perform, and record a little pop ditty about the environment. This story would be perfectly good fodder for a six minute human interest piece on the local news, but as a feature documentary at a major film festival, it just does not cut it. Nothing against this hard-working teacher or his adorable and ever-so-talented brood, but this is fairly dull stuff, and only one of the kids is given enough screen time to differentiate himself in any substantial way. Spellbound it ain't. But then, I despised Paper Clips, but that got a distribution deal and the old perfume-soaked hags at the video store seem to like it enough. I mean, I like kids, generally, and they're all stars, in their own way. Maybe the kids I know, like my wonderful nieces and nephews, and Josh and Alex, and Brielle and Neo, and little Shmemma have just raised my standards too high, but I figure if I would rather spend an hour with those brats, the flick ain't working.

On my previous visit to that screening room, I'd watched the doc Rosie Perez made with Liz Garbus, Yo soy Boricua, pa'que tu lo sepas! and that was a much more worthwhile use of my time. It's essentially Perez's celebration of her heritage, and, in addition to a very warm, personal point-of-view, it contains a wealth of fascinating and often troubling historical data about the island of which I knew very little. It's always nice to actually learn something from a documentary, particularly when it's presented with passion and vigor. What I mean is, there's a lot of names and dates, but it's never dry because the whole thing is infused with Perez's electric personality. Of course, if you're one of those people that cringes at the sound of her voice, this film is probably not for you. Oh, and go fuck yourself!

Just kidding, of course.

Say what you want about Rosie, but don't start talking shit about my girl Sarah Silverman, or there will be trouble. I know what you're thinking: This is another one of those pathetic online blog nerds who is hopelessly in love with Sarah Silverman just because she is so funny, and is kind of cute. Right?

Well, I don't really have a comeback for that one.

I try not to be obsessive about it. I think I find her so beguiling in part because she reminds me a bit of Lisa, but that doesn't detract from her enormous talent, which exists beyond my personal peccadilloes. Just like Mary Louise Parker is an amazing actress, regardless of whether or not she bears a passing resemblance to my aforementioned wayward soulmate.

In any case, enough of that crap. I was determined to see the atrociously titled I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, written and directed by Jeff Garlin of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame, partly because I find Garlin moderately amusing, but mainly because Silverman has a substantial role in it. So, I shouldn't have been too surprised that the film is moderately amusing, while Silverman is fucking awesome. There is a temptation here to lapse into even more embarrassing confessional mode, and I am having a hard time resisting it, but in the name of all that is holy, I shall. Or, I will just briefly mention that I liked that scene where Beth (Silverman) takes James (Garlin) along as she goes underwear shopping. I won't even say that I really liked it, and you between-lines readers can just chalk whatever you make of that up to your own twisted projections.

One problem I had with the film is the way it nearly constantly evokes "Curb." I'm not suggesting that Garlin is ripping Larry David off. I'm sure he shares a certain comic sensibility with David, and as the show is largely improvised, his own comic persona is obviously integral to the overall tone of CYE. But still. James's stand-up inflected conversations with his buddy Luca (David Pasquesi) as they search for a place to eat; his encounter with a guy in a pirate outfit (Joey Slotnick) promoting a hot dog stand who turns out to be a friend of his and whom he ends up filling in for, briefly; the coincidental run-ins with various eccentrics... It's all a bit too familiar, and because Garlin is a much more amiable sort than David, a lot of it comes off as CYE without the edge. For edge, we have Silverman's brazen sex and ice cream talk and her sweetly unhinged passive aggressiveness. James's relationship with Beth is the most interesting thing about the film. Garlin seems to strain to make James unattractive, what with him living with his mother, his food issues, his immense self-pity, but then he goes through lovely women at an alarming rate. I count three very attractive (thin, pretty, intelligent) love interests for James in the film, so it's hard to feel as sorry for him as he does for himself. I mean, maybe it's especially hard for me. Anyway, it's still worth seeing, from my disgruntled perspective. It's a decent first feature, and I was entertained, despite my reservations.

Okay, this isn't going as smoothly or as quickly as I'd hoped. I'm going to try to wrap the whole thing up tomorrow, I guess. So stay tuned?

1 comment:

StephaniePisces said...

So what happens if Sarah Silverman decides to bear your child and then gets Larry David to film the li'l nipper? Would you be interested in watching said film, or would you just mentally block out the kid and leer at the hapless Silverman as she feeds and diapers your spawn?

BTW, I find your comments sexist, yet strangely arousing.