Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Too Clever By Half

"I'd like to share a film with you that I think is, on the whole, highly underrated. "Too clever by half," as a friend of mine put it. That film is Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

But before I discuss the movie directly, let me unpack the idiom. Many people seem to feel that if something is "too" clever, "too" smart, it's an affront to their common sense, an assault upon their salt-of-the-earth dignity. I don't know if this belief carries across cultural boundaries, but it seems endemic enough in the states that it even determines the results of elections. The Republican party has made this issue a corner-stone of their assault upon the "liberal elite," a fact well recognized and explored by Sorkin's own "too clever by half" drama, The West Wing.

I'm not entirely sure when being witty became a negative, frankly I don't care. Maybe this just makes me another member of the "liberal elite." But if you're not offended by self-aware satire and snarkiness, you'll likely find Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang one of the most entertaining, funny movies you've seen."

(Read review on TLAblog)

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