Company Man

Culture Warrior

When cinema history is written, what gets highlighted most often are the films that made an indelible mark: films that were beloved by critics, represented a particular cultural moment, or become a popular phenomenon. The films that aren’t often written about are the outliers: films that don’t make much sense in their context, didn’t function as an index of a larger cultural moment or trend, or didn’t make for significant hits or misses. However, with hindsight, those strange films that don’t belong, films orphaned without a definite place in history that can be made sense of, can eventually reveal themselves to be the most interesting, be they good or bad. 2001 was a strange year for comedy. In the latter part of that year, it seemed we needed a laugh more than ever, but no single film really filled that void. Unlike Meet the Parents in 2000 or My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002, 2001 was without a mammoth comedic hit. The once-crowned Farrelly brothers released the first of a string of underwhelming, forced films, and a gap in popular comedy cinema persisted until Judd Apatow turned a litany of non-photogenic sitcom stars into bona fide movie stars in 2005. Sure, 2001 had the expected combination of the hit sequel (American Pie 2), the romantic comedy (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and one genuinely inspired star-maker (Legally Blonde), but the comedy movies that existed just on the margins of the radar, if not off it entirely, reveal a crop of strange, […]

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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