Just wrote a piece about how Mike Binder‘s Man About Town, which screened at Santa Barbara’s Arlington theatre Tuesday night, played cooler and funnier than I remember after sitting alone in a living room and watching an unfinished version of it on DVD two or three months ago. I’m a proponent of the late Peter Ustinov’s idea that comedy and tragedy should always be mixed together, alogn with Christopher Fry’s observation that “in tragedy every moment is eternity; in comedy, eternity is a moment.” I guess this makes me a sucker on some level for Binder’s tragi-comic sense of humor, but to my surprise the audience went for it even more than I and laughed at all the right places. I heard only one diss at the after-party. (Three people who were there last night told me they think it’s better than Binder’s The Upside of Anger.) I loved the unreal anarchic way that Binder throws grief at his lead character, a Beverly Hills literary agent played by Ben Affleck. Distributors may have issues about this and that and it may run into some trouble with a portion of the critics, but last night told me that Man About Town definitely plays with a crowd. (The well-heeled Santa Barbara kind, at least.) In any event, I had the piece written with photos and everything, but I wrote it on Movable Type and didn’t save it as I was going along, and the damn thing crashed on me five minutes ago.