I flipped out this morning when I read Marshall Fine’s pan of Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig‘s Mistress America (Fox Searchlight, 8.14). Me: “How could you do this to such a neurotically and luminously alive film? With such a precise and unique voice? With such a timeless theme — i.e., ‘writers are always selling somebody out’? The first reinvention of 21st screwball comedy that holds together & which isn’t an homage to ’30s screwball (like Peter Bogdanovich‘s She’s Funny That Way) and you take a dump on it? Are you proud of yourself?” Fine: “The truth about Greta Gerwig and the emperor’s new clothes (i.e., lack of acting ability) will eventually get out.” Me: “Dead wrong. She’s a manic neurotic 21st Century Carole Lombard.” Fine: “Let’s agree to disagree. Don’t take it so personally.” Me: “You wouldn’t if you were her? Gerwig is doing something exciting here. She’s breaking new ground on top of being a funnier, flakier, taller and less chubby Lena Dunham. In fact she’s not chubby at all.”