Over at Gawker.com (I get nauseous even writing that domain name) the notorious Emily Gould has written a “review” of Hannah Takes the Stairs that is so slight, dimwitted, mean-spirited, misrepresentative and careless as to almost make it farcical. What stops it short of being laughable is that the sheer reach of Gawker into the target audience for the film could have an impact on the film’s success The fact is, a negative review from one of the darlings of the New York City 20-something pop culture set is potentially damaging to this film’s box office returns in its only week in release. As judged by the comments, this “review” has convinced a chunk of Gawker’s readers from seeing the film.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not decry critics the right to negatively review a film. That would be absurd. Nor would I object to a thoughtful debunking of the idea that “Mumblecore” is a real movement in American independent film. I do, however, take issues with writers who expound upon things they clearly do not understand and are crude, rude and downright mean when doing so. To wit:
“On seeing the preview, I thought I could relate, a bit, to our heroine Hannah.” Writes Emily, continuing, “(That’s the idea, right? She’s supposed to represent a generation.)” Ummm, no. Hannah is not necessarily supposed to be likable. She’s confused, often feckless and somewhat careless in her relationships. She’s also honestly looking for happiness, something we all do, but might never find. She’s representative of what some people are like but in no way did the filmmakers intend for Hannah to be representative of a generation. I don’t think a fictional character has represented a whole generation since Sal Paradise. (You had to look that one up, didn’t you, Emily?)
Oh, and did I mention that Emily is about as shallow as Iceland’s gene pool? And I quote: “This is when the movie started to strain credulity. For starters, the actress who plays Hannah, Greta Gurwig (sic), is megahot, like a 9.5 at least, with fantastic tits, too. And the guy who plays her coworker-seducer, filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, is so irretrievably fug.” She later offers up witty bon mots as: “this repellently ugly dude eventually starts ignoring Hannah.” And “Seriously, there’s a scene where he’s in boxers during which I was basically cowering under my seat. The moles on his back, my God! His man-teats! His TEETH!”
Wow. Pardon my language, but who the fuck raised this writer to be such a rude, insensitive and callow person? This is film criticism? That’s like watching Marty and spending paragraphs commenting on how ugly Ernest Borgnine is or using a naked Kathy Bates in a hot tub as a reason to dislike About Schmidt. So in a film, beautiful people should only pair with the beautiful? How very national socialist of her. This piece has managed to re-define mean-spirited.
I think I’ll stop here. I wanted to mention some of the dumb-as-a-box-of-hammers comments, but this had become like shooting dead fish in a teacup. Not to mention that 580 words on this piece is about 480 more than it’s worth, but when I see such reprehensible dreck masquerading as journalism, I feel required to smack it across the face and point it out for what it really is: lazy, lower common denominator, bottom-feeding base hackery.
Wanna read a real review of Hannah Takes the Stairs? It may not be 100% positive, but it’s honest and accurate.