Elaine Benes: [quietly] No. I can't do this any more. I can't. It's too long.This morning, I had a Seinfeldian "English Patient" moment. I was catching up on my stockpile of overnight Twitteramblings, when I ran across this pair of Tweets from the Poker Grump:
Elaine Benes: [yells] Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert, and just die already! DIE!
J. Peterman: [surprised] Elaine, you don't like the movie?
Elaine Benes: [shouts] I hate it!
[the audience shushes Elaine]
Elaine Benes: [shouts back] Oh, go to hell!
Seinfeld, "The English Patient"
Reminds me of Woody Allen's "I am pointing a gub at you." http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2010/08/something-for-dumb-criminal-file.html
I can't imagine any of my friends don't know the Woody Allen reference, but just in case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UHOgkDbVqc
Ruh roh, Raggy! I felt after my last couple of Vegas trips, I had broken into the 9th level of Grump friendship—bad poker players who somehow amuse rather than annoy him. But obviously I am not "Grump-worthy". Why not? Because I hate Woody Allen films.
I know, I know, most people and film critics (there is little overlap in the two groups) seem to love-love-love Woody Allen films. I just don't get what is supposedly so funny about his work. Most of the time, his movie scenes strike me as Saturday Night Live skits with a bigger budget. Most of his movies seem like they were funnier in theory than in execution, where the writers and actors roll on the floor laughing at themselves, while the audience gives a wan smile and waits for someone to deliver the humor. The few scenes that do have some comedic potential are heavy-handedly beaten into the dirt; Exhibit A is the scene referenced by the Grump, which is about twice as long as necessary, killing the humor after a promising start. Frankly, that scene seems a lot closer on the comedy scale to an SNL Night at the Roxbury sketch than the fart scene from Blazing Saddles.
Now, although I enjoy movies and movie quotes, I am absolutely unqualified to be a movie critic. All I know is what movies I enjoy, because they make me laugh, cry, or escape (or all of the above). Looking over lists of all-time "great" movies and TV shows, I happen to like most of the ones that generally get listed. Many of the listed shows I truly love, while some get a meh response, where I won't turn the channel if they're on, but I won't go out of my way to record them either.
For some reason, though, I seem to be out of sync with most folks on at least a few widely-loved movies and TV shows. It's not just the wooden Woody Allen oeuvre. Forrest Gump makes me want to tear the little remaining hair from my skull. It's a Wonderful Life, wasn't. Everybody Loves Raymond, except me. Two and a Half Men, That 70s Show, and Married ... with Children; grating, mind-numbing, and soul-sucking (mix and match at your leisure). Oh, and Elaine was totally right about The English Patient. When faced with casual chatter about this pop cultural dreck, a paraphrase of the old Sam Kinison joke leaps to mind: I don't condone censorship, but I understand it.
So, faithful readers? What popular and/or critically acclaimed movies and TV shows make you want to gouge out your eyeballs with a vuvuzela? Share your entertainment hell lineup in the comments!
Here's the infamous Seinfeld "The English Patient" scene; preach it, Elaine!