I'm not a film critic, and I don't claim to know the whys and wherefores of your Luc Bessons and your Jean Godards and your…what's that Japanese guy's name? Kurosawa. But I love movies, and I know what I like, and generally why I like it.

In the space of seven days, I saw a pair of films that couldn't have a wider quality gap. One you've probably read about everywhere, including here: You And Me And Everyone We Know, though markedly "quirky" and "indie" was also moving and to-the-bone hilarious. You should see it, even if you're my Dad, who doesn't like the same movies I like. (On Pulp Fiction: "When the kid in the backseat got shot, everybody laughed!" he said, horrified.)

I don't want to step on Keith's reviewer toes, but I saw a movie I think he's planning on reviewing this week, The Chumscrubber. I left mouth agape, wondering how a movie so fatally flawed, so tonally wrong, so completely off, and so utterly without entertainment value could have been made. I saw Fantastic Four, and it sucked, but you could see why it was made. The Chumscrubber tried desperately to smash together bits of Donnie Darko and American Beauty (two terrific movies, in my opinion), but forgot to grab anything meaningful from them. The audience that I saw actually laughed—hard—at spots that were supposed to be poignant (and weren't), particularly one scene in which Ralph Fiennes has some sort of epiphany about dolphins. Seriously.

And that's another thing: What the hell are all of these talented actors doing in this movie? Didn't they read the script? Glenn Close, Carrie Ann Moss, Allison Anders, Lauren Holly, Fiennes, Lucius Malfoy… Maybe they just look good next to an utterly unbelievable cast of teens running through an utterly unlikely story, but still… Who was cashing in favors here? The movie has a "twist" that involves a video game character. Sort of. It feels like every studio note about demographics was taken as gospel and worked into the script: "Hey, we really love the film, but it's dark, so why don't you make it a comedy instead, and add something about video games. The kids like video games, right?"

Worst of all, The Chumscrubber isn't even so bad it's funny or entertaining. It might be worth watching as an anthropological exercise, but I'd rather see Me And You And Everyone We Know twice a day forever than watch The Chumscrubber once more. So… anyone else see it? I'm guessing not. It opened on two out-of-the-way screens in Milwaukee last week, so it doesn't look like the marketing push is all that severe. Funny, since it feels like the marketing people had so much to do with making the movie.

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