Showing posts from March, 2014

Great moments in thesis statements

The spring of 1942 was a perilous time for Americans, caught, as they were, in a new war. —David Denby, apparently just writing down the first thing that pops in his head.


We just finished rewatching The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. The first series (there are two series, of six episodes each) aired in America on IFC before Portlandia really caught on, and I don’t remember there being much marketing or Internet buzz about it. (Folks from Britain—was it any bigger over there?) The show’s a textbook example of pure farce, and watching it got me thinking about the work of David O. Russell.

While he’s risen to prominence with his last three films—The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook [really? that’s what you named your move?], and American Hustle—Russell has four other full-length movies under his belt: Spanking the Monkey, Flirting with Disaster, Three Kings, and I ♥ Huckabees. I’ve written (10 years ago?!) plenty about my affection for Huckabees, and I love Three Kings as well, but watching Todd Margaret brought to mind Flirting with Disaster, since that movie is another example of how entertaining a farce can be.

Then I hit on what my obj…