harrytheheir (harrytheheir) wrote,
harrytheheir
harrytheheir

"I've got more in common with these gooks than my spoiled-rotten family. Happy birthday."

Gran Torino (2008, dir. Clint Eastwood) - So apparently critics are sufficiently in love with sturdy classic-Hollywood filmmaking (the kind that's essentially relegated to TV shows like The Sopranos and Mad Men) and intrigued by the story of a white male elite passing along its values to a more Obama-friendly rising generation (as seen on critical favorites like 30 Rock and, again, Mad Men) to give not just a pass but a full embrace to any project that satisfies that Made In The U.S.A. itch. Clint Eastwood, whose job as a director is frequently to give an air of dignity to seemingly every script that passes his desk, has been consistently overpraised as a result.

Hence the general accolades for Gran Torino, I guess. The movie is by most standards embarrassingly bad, thanks in large part to a terrible script by "Factory Accident Sex" scribe Nick Schenck. The story of a Polish-American racist coming to like and protect his Hmong neighbors would be slightly more touching if it wasn't, um... well, as fullmotor pointed out to me on the ride home, "ham-handed" is too kind by far, so I'm not really sure what to call this. The dialogue quoted in the subject line is not only a line, but a typical one. (I might also have chosen, "You're wrong, eggroll," one of many racial slurs that Schenck apparently looked up before he started writing.) It eventually comes to sound like the McSweeney's parody of the movie Crash:

WAITER: Can I take your order?

ME: I'll have the club sandwich, easy on the mayo.

WAITER: To drink?

ME: Why are you people always asking me what I want to drink?

WAITER: What?

ME: You heard me.
The movie is frequently hilarious for this reason--half the audience was laughing throughout--so I suppose I wouldn't discourage anybody from seeing it, specifically. You might want to leave before Clint Eastwood starts to gently warble the title song over the end credits, though.
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