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Unhelpful Movie Marketing

January 4, 2007

Every now and again, movie marketers do their films serious disservice. I remember boycotting Zoolander for weeks. It looked hopelessly dim. Why on earth would I be interested in a comedy about male models starring Ben Stiller as a character named Derek? The theatrical trailer was so inane that I vowed never to see it. But when I was finally press-ganged into watching the film by a former boyfriend, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The film was more wickedly funny, well-written and performed than any other film I’d seen for years. I experienced a similar feeling last night when I finally sat down to watch The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

I had stayed away from the film for so long, thanks to the goofy publicity poster and screwball trailer. I didn’t give the film a second thought until I watched Steve Carrell play the role of the suicidal uncle in Little Miss Sunshine a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly I realized I had to see this actor’s breakout movie. I wasn’t disappointed. Carrell may be the last of the truly great, heroic dweebs. After watching him break out into “Let the Sunshine In” after having his first orgasm I knew I was in the presence of an unorthodox talent. I don’t think any other actor – besides Chaplin – has ever matched this. And I don’t think any other will for a long time. Jon Heder: look and learn.

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