Hey! Come in here! Yes, you and your sister. Pause Entourage and come in here for a minute. We need to talk. No, it can’t wait. We have Tivo for a reason. Just hit the pause button and sit down. Your mother and I are concerned about your behavior lately. Yes, we did find the condoms in your old cell phone drawer and your thug life brother’s little cache of marijuana behind his old skateboards. You don’t need to explain. Whoring yourself out to the popular older boys is an integral part of being a sophomore in high school and experimenting with marginally harmful, mood-altering plants is how one finds himself before college. That’s not the problem.
Our concern, mainly, is you two have become massive douche bags. If it was just that cross you wear around your neck or your sister’s heinous, completely unnecessary snow boots during the summer, we’d simply roll our eyes and let you two ruin your own lives, but your generation has started to suck so pervasively and so thoroughly it’s affecting the way art is produced in this country. No, don’t get up. You will sit here and listen to every word I have to say. You ruined Mike Myers, you little Smallville-loving prick.
Have you seen the previews for The Love Guru? Sure, you have. They’re on after the Cialis commercials. Well, Mike Myers has hit rock bottom, and it’s all your fault, you Tupac-obsessed, Chinese tattoo-emblazoned MTV product. Fifteen years ago, Mike Myers was a comic genius. It’s true. His work on Saturday Night Live was groundbreaking in a lot of ways, and So I Married An Axe Murderer was his first step toward perfecting his signature character-based comedies. I’m not even going to ask if you’ve seen it because you only seem to rent films like Transformers, but basically, it’s about this San Francisco beat poet who falls in love with a gorgeous chick working in a meat market. Well, hilarity ensues when he begins to suspect she’s a femme fatal, and there’s a goofy Scottish father, also played by Mike Myers, who shouts at the television and makes fun of his other son for having an abnormally large head. He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow! Anyway, it was all simply brilliant. And you know why? Because it was about humorous characters interacting in funny ways, with well-written, witty dialogue interspersed.
A few years later, Mike Myers made Austin Powers. Yes, I know you love that movie. I love it too. But see...here’s the thing: we love it for completely different reasons. And that well-defined difference is the reason why you’re a future Natty Lite-guzzling dufus who will probably laugh at The Love Guru and why I’m a real person who thinks for myself and will avoid that film like it was only being shown in Leper colonies.
You, and the rest of your protein shake making, chat speak using generation of uneducated nitwits, like Austin Powers because he’s an oversexualized caricature brandishing catchphrases like a bad superhero. You think Mini-Me is hilarious simply because he’s vertically-challenged and Fat Bastard is the bee’s knees because he shouts “get in my belly” in a Scottish accent. I think Austin Powers is worth laughing at because he’s an amusing, transplanted character who has real emotions and deals with these setbacks in amusing ways. I laugh because of lines like “drugs, drugs, drugs, ham sandwich.” I laugh because of lines like “Well, they should, those filthy baggers, they go from port to port.” But not you. You laugh because it’s a funny character opening his mouth and speaking. Here’s what you don’t get: Austin Powers is not enough on his own.
Listen: I can see you’re not getting this through your barb-wired biceps; so, let me try explaining this another way. We both like The Simpsons. Now, you like it because Homer Simpson drops his coffee on himself and shouts “Doh!” I like it because everyone has depth, because the show comments on society and on itself, because it’s not just Homer Simpson shouting “Doh.” I’ll be honest: I like it when people fall down. I like it when women show me their boobs. I like it when someone farts in an inappropriate situation. But that’s not enough. Let me give you an example: I have a friend who breaks wind approximately every forty-five seconds. That’s annoying. I have another friend who absolutely refuses to fart in front of other human beings ever. One time he had a chick over for dinner, started laughing uproariously, and let out a thunderous fart. I laughed for probably twenty minutes. Why? Because the farting itself isn’t funny. It’s the context (him normally not farting/ having a chick over), which made it noteworthy.
The first two Austin Powers movies were Mike Myers doing things equivalent to farting, while also spewing some hilarious dialogue and commentary on the 60s, the 90s, sex, men, women, James Bond, spy movies, and the government. Under those circumstances, it all becomes hilarious. But you don’t laugh at the societal commentary, the dialogue, or the cheeky references. You laugh uncontrollably at Mike Myers farting in the hottub and sit there blank-fasted when he responds to the phrase, “men come first and women come second” by saying, “or sometimes not at all.” You know what that reaction tells Mike Myers. Stop fucking trying! We don’t want clever dialogue. We want one character completely void of humanity spitting goddamn poop jokes for an hour and a half. And you know what? That is a problem. And that’s why your mother and I have called you in here. Grow up. Start aspiring to something more. Use your brain when you go to the movies.
Most people are probably going to blame Mike Myers for the inevitable debacle of The Love Guru. That’s fine. Some of the blame undoubtedly falls at his feet; he conceived the thing, after all. But in actuality, it’s your fault. The two of you and your Philistine friends. You don’t go support films like So I Married An Axe Murderer because you don’t feel like actively participating at the movies. You don’t feel like putting any effort into understanding what they’re saying and why they’re saying it. So, you go see absolute bullshit like Austin Powers III, where you can just stare at the screen and chortle along with the rest of the proletariat when Mike Myers uses the phrase “shag.” I get it. You guys say fucking or boning or tapping that ass or pork-swording; so, hearing the word “shag” inspires a giggle. Stop giggling! And stop telling Hollywood you want a funny concept regardless of whether the characters exist beyond just the amusing superficial level.
I hate both of you. Your punishment is to watch Clerks, a brilliant comedy about two completely normal people in normal situations that works because every single word was poured over by Kevin Smith until it was hysterical. There will be a quiz, and if you fail, I swear to God I will burn every single article of Hollister-produced clothing in your closets.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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