Thursday, July 07, 2005

There once was a man at The Reader

Pity the poor PR schlub whose task it is to carve out peppy, positive blurbs from reviews of Sally Potter’s new film "Yes." It’s a bit of a hard sell: all the dialogue in the film is written in, well, rhyming iambic pentameter. The two main characters of the film, an Irish-American gal and a studly Lebanese cook having an affair, are named He and She. The whole thing is supposed to be some sort of personal-is-political take on the mess in the Middle East.

Reviewers haven’t been terribly enthusiastic. A.O. Scott at The New York Times described the flick as "doggerel, not art," noting that Potter’s fancy film style is "yoked to ideas of almost staggering banality." Not that A.O. wasn’t moved a little bit by the film – well, not by the film itself, but by "the valiant actors, who do their best to give subtle, vivid, human performances, only to find themselves banging against the bars of the allegorical cage Ms. Potter has built for them."

Well, no usable blurbs to be found there. So, once again, Jonathan Rosenbaum steps into the breach with words of praise for this evidently underappreciated gem. Muddled, confusing words of praise, but words of praise nonetheless. PR schlub, here’s your ROSENBLURB:

Yes "seems to invite ridicule, though it’s more lighthearted in its provocations than heavy-handed or bleak. … her rhyming lines are clarifying, not vilifying." –Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.


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