(via iPhone) So yesterday I ended up by mistake seeing two Ben Stiller movies. His remake of The Heartbreak Kid was on cable and I got sucked in. And then I went to see Tropic Thunder. Both of these were experienced alone, half out of shame and half out of happenstance. While any Stiller is too much on most days, two Stillers is unbearable.
There is something so hostile and unlikable brewing (barely) under the surface at all times that it becomes exhausting and uncomfortable. Though he parodies the Hollywood machine, there is a real sense in watching him (and via stories I’ve heard from people who know him) that he IS everything he parodies. Just bc you make fun of awful behavior doesn’t mean you are not still guilty of awful behavior. Warren Beatty sent up womanizing constantly, at the same time he was actually banging everything in sight.
The two movies were equally weak and equally fitfully watchable. The latter had Downey’s astonishing performance, and the former had the fucking adorable Michelle Monaghan to get me through. And they both had a handful of big laughs. But both were a total mess. (And don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you Tom Cruise turns in an amazing extended comedic cameo that will change the way you think of him. Because that person is lying to you and isn’t your friend. He’s much funnier in Magnolia. Here he just kind of derails things. As does Jack Black. Who is fitfully awful here.)
Anyway. Double Stiller. Bad choice.