So what could have led Roger Michel, the obviously bright and perceptive director of Enduring Love, to take Ian McEwan’s 1998 novel about a bizarre romantic obsession and turn it into a “jokeless gloomarama?” wonders New Yorker critic Anthony Lane. “The ideas behind Enduring Love may be fascinating, but they don’t play, they sulk, and so it was during another annoying rant from Jed the Pest [i.e., Rhys Ifans’ thoroughly revolting stalker character] that I leaned over to the friend beside me and whispered, ‘All I really, really want at this moment, in the whole world, is to be watching Dodgeball.”
In Tom Wolfe’s scheme of things, reports a New York Times Magazine profile (11.31), social behavior is almost always determined by status consciousness — an instinct to preserve your place in the social pecking order. Pretty much all human endeavor “has to do with status,” says the 74 year-old author of “I Am Charlotte Simmons” (excerpted in Rolling Stone, in book stores November 9). “Or STATE-us, which is the way you say it if you want more status.” Our status awareness is so fundamental, Wolfe says, that “there may even be a specific place in the brain that creates it,” the article relates. “Status is neurological, in other words…people aren’t so much interested in scaling the social ladder as in clinging to their own, hard-earned rung.” For what it’s worth, I can say with some authority that Wolfe’s theory is observable in Los Angeles entertainment journalist circles.
Two days before the election, and there’s a definite downshift thing going on. Can you feel it? Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and that’s that. (Save for the last-minute lurches of the fence-sitters, of course…but they’ll never know who they are or what they really believe.) A lot of readers are telling me they’re sick of the whole thing and can’t wait, etc. I for one am ready and willing to get back into all-movies, all-the-time…unless there’s a Florida-style recount debacle-muddle of some kind. It’s clearly time to get our priorities straight and ask when exactly will the Farrelly’s make their Three Stooges movie? And what happened to that Russell Crowe-as-Moe thing?
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