Toronto On My Mind

by Djb September 12, 2008
Toronto International Film Festival

For the first three minutes of the movie, I was laughing. For the next five minutes, I was trying to laugh. For the remaining, oh let's say nine hours, I exhaled sixteen times in varying degrees of frustration, coughed twice, actually tried to tear my hair out once, thought, "Well, at least I'm in the same room as Dave Foley right now" three times, and found one thing near the end almost funny enough to laugh at again, but by that point it came out as just a weak and pathetic wheeze. Which is appropriate, because by then that's exactly what the movie had become.

What happened to Coopers' Camera? Why was it one unfunny joke about a drunk, dysfunctional family told over and over again? Why was the most impassioned argument in favor of the movie an argument between Eric and myself, in which I took the position that Coopers' Camera would have made a funny three-minute Saturday Night Live sketch, and Eric arguing that it would have made an unfunny three-minute Saturday Night Live sketch?

I'm not trying to pretend that it wasn't funny at all. Jones singing Christmas carols made me laugh, and I liked when they gave Jayne Eastwood's crotchety mom character a gift box filled with an orange that closely resembled an entire bowl of oranges sitting on a nearby table. Let's see...what else? Poop joke, poop joke, hooker joke, kid getting a boner...credits.

And now, a personal note to my friends Jason and Samantha: you guys, I don't want this to sour our relationship, and I want you to know that when I come to work for The Daily Show, I don't want things to be weird. You guys are seriously the greatest, and maybe this movie won't get released and no one besides me will ever know you have it in you to do something this underwhelming. Maybe you'll be up late one night when your baby won't stop crying and you'll sit down at your computer and you'll Google yourself -- hey, man, we're all human -- and you'll find this on TWoP and you'll think about how hard you worked making that movie and then you'll kind of hate me for a second. But then you have to forgive me, just as I have forgiven you. You're still great. Both of you. Just don't expect me to come to your house for Christmas. If Coopers' Camera had any autobiographical elements to it, there was a lot more poop and booze than I'm used to around the holidays.

Lowenstein. Lowenstein. Lowenstein. You know?

Hi to Jon,
Daniel J. Blau

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