Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Paging Dorothy Parker

I don't know about you, but I've been waiting anxiously for the critical reaction to the theatrical debut of Larry the Cable Guy. He has a lot of fans, and every one of them looks at Larry and sees something that I just don't or can't see.

If there's one comment worth repeating, it's from this review in the Onion A.V. Club:
It'd be tempting to call Larry the Ernest of his generation, but that'd be a grave insult to Jim Varney's enduring legacy. Compared to Larry—a grating, baby-faced butterball with all the magnetism and charisma of an Applebee's night manager—Varney was the second coming of Jimmy Stewart.
Larry is the reason I can never seem to make it all the way through the so-called "redneck comedy" shows. Part of the way through, sure. Bill Engvall seems like the least oxygen-deprived of the group, which is not to say he's the funniest. I'd say that would be Ron White, who paints himself as a booze-soaked guttermouth—and may well be one, for all I know. But White tells stories that make him come off worse than any of the other people he talks about, and that's too consistent to be an accident. Even Jeff Foxworthy is not entirely unamusing, as much as some people seem to hate him.

All those guys at least reach the bar when they don't clear it. Larry TCG lowers the bar all the way to the ground and then crawls under it.

Remarks like the ones in the Onion review always remind me of Dorothy Parker, who is supposed to have said in one book review: "This book is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force." Unfortunately, today most people probably don't know who Parker was. Meanwhile, LTCG's movie is being hurled with great force against movie screens all over our enormous land.


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