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David Poland

By David Poland

Nothing Says Class Like…


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13 Responses to “Nothing Says Class Like…”

  1. moviesquad says:

    “Dinner for Schmucks” pretty much sums up the whole Gold Class experience.

  2. LexG says:

    That offer is awesome, surreal… and I don’t know, something about this whole movie makes me SAD. Does anyone know what I mean?
    Everyone loves Steve Carell, but he seems like such a cinematic sadsack, and just this poster, the clips, his look in it… it seems depressing or embarrassing or something. It just makes me uncomfortable.

  3. jesse says:

    Lex, it’s because you don’t really actually like comedy, because you don’t want anyone to be embarrassed or weird or UNCOOL. Your sensibility is incompatible with most comedy. That’s why you find Dane Cook funny and actually funny people uncomfortable.

  4. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Look above the title on that one-sheet. Nothing says Razzies hopeful like referencing a comedy that came out when Slick Willie was still in the White House.

  5. Pete Grisham says:

    The most notable thing about this movie is that it’s a remake of a film written and directed by who is easily the greatest French Comedy writer/director of all time.
    If you never seen his films, you are REALLY missing out. A lot of his most successful works have been remade but it’s worth seeing the originals.
    La ch

  6. Pete Grisham says:

    Well they already have made this film but you know what I meant.

  7. Shillfor Alanhorn says:

    PG: It’s also worth noting that the results of Katzenberg’s dalliances with Veber were such cinematic abortions as PARTNERS, THREE FUGITIVES and MY FATHER, THE HERO. I pray this one fares better.

  8. Pete Grisham says:

    You are totally overstating Katzenberg’s role here. For one thing, his presence in Veber’s life was that of a fan, not a producer. He had little if anything to do with those projects you’ve mentioned and didn’t have a stake in them.
    (I will also argue that while never as good as originals a few of the remakes were quite decent.
    Another point is that the remakes that happened before Veber got to us weren’t any better. Remember Hanks’s “The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe”? Pure Luck, on the other hand was quite funny)
    No, what is worth noting is here is that Dinner is the first movie

  9. Cadavra says:

    Veber famously said that the reason he doesn’t work here anymore is because “in France, they give me the money and I make the movie. In Hollywood, I write a 100-page script and get back 150 pages of notes.”
    DINNER GAME was a gem. SCHMUCKS looks ghastly, but because I have friends who worked on it, I’m gonna hafta man up and go see it.

  10. Shillfor Alanhorn says:

    PETE GRISHAM: Um… Katzenberg was THE HEAD OF PRODUCTION AT THE STUDIOS IN QUESTION when the three films I referenced were made. If that’s “overstating Katzenberg’s role” then I really think you have no idea how Hollywood works.
    As for “Dinner,” yes, Katzenberg has nothing to do with Dreamworks live action. Unfortunately for the film’s prospects, Walter Parkes still does.

  11. Pete Grisham says:

    Shil, please, give me a break. I know enough about Hollywood to know that you are overstating Katzenberg’s role in those films. I didn’t rule out his involvement completely (the key word I used, again, is “overstatement”) but there were numerous other people on dozens of projects he oversaw who’s decisions had more impact on the films outcome.
    Look, let me just say up front that our disagreement lies not in either one of us knowing how important the Head of Production is by in we view other factors.
    Do you honestly think that, say, My Father, The Hero would have been radically different under a different exec? (And I would also argue that three Fugitives isn’t that much worse than the original – probably because, compromised as it was it was helmed by Veber.)
    It’s like saying that Harvey Weinstein ruined “Brothers Grimm” for Terry Gilliam by not allowing the actors to wear fake noses or other such nonsense. Bull-(and I say this as Gilliam fan)-shit.
    And we are talking about a munch more hands-on kind of guy.
    For the record (unless I misundertood what you meant above in which case I appologize), I KNOW you are underselling Katzenberg’s involvement with “Dinner Game” (at least his initial involvement). I can almost see the way your mind works (maybe), Katzenberg is with Dreamworks Animation ergo his plate is already full and he has nothing to do with Dreamworks proper anymore.
    Not quite so, in this case, Dreamworks has been trying to make the “Dinner Game” for at least a decade now (back then they have seriously considered Roberto Begninni for Carrell’s role) and you better believe that Katzenberg was one of the primary reasons why the studio became interested in the first place. I mean, we are talking about what is one of the absolute longest in development projects in all of Dreamworks’ history.
    In my mind, the only remake of Veber’s work (and I use this term broadly since he was neither the sole author nor director) to match the quality of the original is the superb “Birdcage”. I am not that worried about “Dinner” because I think that DW had spent enough time on this not to deliver a complete bomb, as naive as it sounds.
    No, what I am far more worried about is Farrelly’s take on “The Valet”.

  12. Shillfor Alanhorn says:

    PG: Perhaps we’ll have to agree to disagree. Katzenberg has fostered the Stalinist revisionist history of his hagiography by turning the spotlight on his “triumphs” in animation during his ten years at Disney and away from his incredibly dismal incredibly hands-on role in live-action during that period. The “house style” at Touchstone during his reign (and at Paramount just before) is as consistent and uniform as any in Hollywood history and is a total reflection of the man’s taste or lack thereof. You want to fob “My Father, The Hero” off on an underling? Who do you think hired Donald DeLine or Ricardo Mestres or David Hoberman? To whom exactly do you think Veber was referring to when he mentioned the fact that the notes he received on his scripts were longer than the scripts themselves? Who green-lit the picture and signed off on hiring the writer of “Blame It On Rio” and “Kippendorf’s Tribe” to rewrite Veber and the director of “Soul Man” to helm it? Don’t be naive, man….

  13. The Big Perm says:

    Pete, maybe the Weinsteins ruined Brothers Grimm with all of the other things they did BESIDES not letting Damon wear a fake nose. It’s funny that you try to downplay a head of production at a studio and then use Weinstein as an example. Do you know anything about that guy and how he influenced the movies that went through that studio? He was INSANELY hands on, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon