Wedding Crashers (2005) vs. Midnight (1939)

We finally got around to seeing Wedding Crashers. I wasn’t much interested in the film when it opened in theaters last summer, but people keep telling me how clever it is and how it’s not just another dumb comedy and how the writing is much better than you would expect. Hell, my little brother thinks it should have won an Oscar for Best Screenplay, but then he also seems to have a fixation with Rachel McAdams.
What struck me about Wedding Crashers was how much it reminded me, in structure, of romantic comedies from the 1930s. I was expecting something more like Anchorman, but Wedding Crashers is an old-fashioned romantic comedy that appeals to modern moviegoers with up-to-date humorous dialogue and physical comedy. Not grossly physical, most of the time — it doesn’t resort to Farrelly brothers-style humor. But underneath all the Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson banter is a storyline closely related to It Happened One Night (1934) or even more apt, Midnight (1939).

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mmmm. beer and film writers.

I’m meeting Karina Longworth, the editor emeritus of Cinematical, at 5 pm today (Tuesday) at Gingerman to have a drink and to chat about SXSW and film and where to get good steaks in Austin and whatever else we can think of. If you’re in town for SXSW or if you live in Austin and want to join us, we’d love to see you there. You don’t have to be a film writer or even a film geek, although we will probably talk a lot about movies and related stuff. It’ll be fun, and Gingerman (at 304 W. 4th Street, an easy walk from Alamo Drafthouse) has lots of yummy beer. Mmmmm. Beer. So drop by! I am wearing my Cinematical shirt so hopefully that will make me easier to spot.

SXSW tidbits

I’m sitting here in the very nice press room at SXSW, wishing they would keep it open for me until Saturday because it’s so quiet and convenient, and wondering what I can write about SXSW in the next 20 minutes before I have to do other stuff. I’ve posted several reviews to Cinematical over the past few days: you can read all the Cinematical SXSW coverage here. But there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make it into reviews, like the following bulleted list.

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mmmmm. free wireless.

I’m at the Austin Convention Center right now, having just picked up my badge for SXSW and my big bag of stuff. The bag is a bit scary. It’s full of paper stuff that I am too lazy to wade through, at least one CD, small food samples, and one of those trendy little rubber bracelets (Lance Armstrong trendy, not old-school Madonna vacuum-cleaner trendy). I think all the paper in the bag must contain brick or concrete material, because this bag is pretty darned heavy. The bag itself has a cute Tales of the Rat Fink illustration on it.
I’m sitting at one of these little tables near the entrance where everyone is huddled over their laptops. The tables are nice although really they are an awkward size—more than enough room for one person, but a tight fit for two or three unless you know the other people well. Perhaps it’s meant as a way to get to know your neighbors. I realize that instead of posting a photo of myself yesterday, I should have posted a photo of the back of my laptop. If you see the back of a laptop with a Cookie Monster sticker on it, that’s me.

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see you at SXSW

The SXSW film festival starts on Friday … yep, that’s tomorrow. I am going to cover some of the films for Cinematical. It has been kind of a crazy week for me, getting my other freelance work in order, sifting through dozens and dozens of PR emails, each informing me that such-and-such film is THE film to see for SXSW, continually tweaking my calendar schedule of films and panels, designing a shirt to wear to promote Celluloid Eyes, redesigning my business cards, dusting off my digital voice recorder, wondering how long it takes to drive from the Austin Convention Center to Alamo on South Lamar.
I am looking forward to seeing a lot of movies—I have currently scheduled about three a day. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up that pace, but it’ll be great fun to try. I’m also looking forward to seeing the film blog panel, finally meeting Karina in person, seeing LB and FPP, running into Chris at the B-Side booth, enjoying the Blazing Saddles pizza at Alamo, and writing about everything I can.
I am worried that I will be a lousy interviewer (untrue, although I could use more experience), that my sad little old digital camera will give out halfway through the festival, that I’ll wear the wrong clothes (yes, I realize this is dumb), that I’ll get a migraine at the worst time possible, that I am a lousy networker/schmoozer (we all feel this way, I suspect), and that I won’t recognize any of the other film writers and bloggers whom I know only by their writing. I’ve been emailing back and forth with Blake from Cinema Strikes Back this week, and I hope we won’t pass within inches of one another without any recognition.
So here’s what I’m doing to try to remedy the problem of non-recognition.

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