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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 20, 2013/ 12 Tammuz, 5773

Real Google doesn’t mean real giggles

By Barry Koltnow




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) It is not appropriate to make jokes at a funeral.

However, it is entirely appropriate to make jokes in a movie that is supposed to be a comedy.

This may explain some of the problems with the "The Internship."

If you are as obsessed with box office numbers as we are, you probably know that Hollywood is all abuzz over the opening weekend's performance of the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson alleged comedy. I use the term "alleged" because there is no hard evidence that this was intended to be a comedy.

The movie came in a disappointing fourth, behind the low-budget thriller "The Purge" and two holdovers, "Fast & Furious 6" and "Now You See Me."

Although billed as a comedy, "The Internship" felt more like an infomercial for Google.

Or worse, it could more aptly be described as a drama, which is not how a comedy wants to be described.

I really hate it when I'm right, but I hinted in a story that "The Internship" might face adversity at the box office because it takes itself too seriously. I suggested that it resembled what Hollywood disdainfully refers to as a "message movie."

Message movies are box office poison. Nobody wants to be lectured to at the movies. Nobody wants to learn anything at the movies. That's why they invented schools. If learning was supposed to be fun in the dark with tubs of buttery popcorn, teachers would look like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.



I warned director Shawn Levy that his movie might have a message, and he didn't flinch. He even boasted that "The Internship" had something to say. I knew he was in trouble when he said that.

I apologize. I have been discussing "The Internship" as if you had seen it, and we know by the weak box office numbers that you probably have not seen it.

The big draw was the reunion of Vaughn and Wilson after their 2005 hit "Wedding Crashers." That film, in case you've forgotten, was an actual comedy with a lot of laughs and no messages.

In "The Internship," Vaughn and Wilson traded in their law practice for failing careers as watch salesmen. They are described as "analog men in a digital age," and they soon are digitally downsized right out of their analog jobs. You can see the potential for big laughs in an atmosphere of recession and massive layoffs.

Anyway, they decide to apply for internships at tech giant Google. Although the company usually picks young genius types for its internship program, they inexplicably accept two unqualified middle-age watch salesmen. But if it wasn't for illogic, there would be no basis for movie comedy.

Director Levy told me that when Vaughn came to him with the idea for "The Internship," the filmmaker asked if Vaughn intended to enlist Google's cooperation in the venture, or use a fictional tech company. Vaughn insisted, and Levy seconded the notion, that it was Google or nothing.

And that was their first mistake.

It did add an air of realism, but the comedy was doomed as soon as Google agreed to be part of the project. "The Internship" was never meant to be an expose, but there was no way the movie could retain its edgy humor once corporate deflector shields went up.

Levy said he showed the final film to Google executives and they responded favorably. That should have come as no surprise since Google already had made script suggestions during the filmmaking process.

I am not faulting Google's interest in protecting its brand. It would be foolhardy to do otherwise. I am faulting Levy, Vaughn and Wilson in pursuing Google's involvement. Once Google invited the filmmakers to its Northern California campus, it would have been ill-mannered for the filmmakers to be anything but polite guests. And no good comedy was ever mined in a field of politeness.

The filmmakers guessed wrong that people would find it interesting to see the real Google campus. For the exorbitant cost of movie tickets these days, people would rather laugh. The Google campus should be saved for a TV travelogue.

Google's involvement wasn't the only problem, of course. No one can blame the tech giant for a poorly written script that was long on predictability and short on jokes.

Still, comedy is subjective, and I'm sure somebody thought the movie was hilarious, although I suspect that most of those people work on the Google campus. Geeks know technology; they don't know comedy.

Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for future filmmakers. If you're making a documentary, go for realism. If you're making a comedy, go for the laughs. If that means that you have to make believe, movie-goers can live with that. It wouldn't be the first time that Hollywood faked it.

.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Barry Koltnow's column by clicking here.


Previously:

This summer features a lot of movies with surprise plot twists
Don't let this golden opportunity slip away
Blame the shark for summer-movie madness
Baby boomers still buy tickets
Biopics always have one scene too many
Sneaking into movies not as easy as in old days
Ben Affleck's life is still worth living
The black market for movie raves
The 10 worst movies of 2012
2012's most annoying celebrities
Lindsay Lohan needs to be ignored
Red Dawn' remake reflects China's box-office pull
Fall movie season ends with lessons learned
The 10 best Bond villains ever
Readers weigh in on confusing movies
10 most confusing movies of all time
Do you enjoy going out to the movies?
Sylvester Stallone, the Dalai Lama and me
Watch August movies at your own risk
Nothing new in the new Spider-Man movie
Grading the summer movies . . . so far
Readers are angry about TV network practices, too
TV networks have some explaining to do
The night Johnny Depp made me a star
Summer movies: the dark horses
Lindsay, Ashton, Kim --- are they kidding?
Readers pick their favorite baseball movies
Our 10 favorite baseball movies
The most over-hyped movies of 2012
The 10 worst best pictures ever
The greatest Oscar acceptance speech NEVER given
The worst biopics ... ever
20 celebrity questions that must be answered in 2012
The Golden Globes are meaningless
The 10 Most Annoying Celebrities of 2011
The funniest comedy teams
Fake celebrities ignite real controversy
Hollywood: Stop spoiling our movies
Mob expert reveals his favorite gangster flicks
Good riddance, Harry Potter
The coolest car movies ever made
Our favorite teacher movies
Are women funny?
Our special snarky summer movie guide
The 10 most pressing show biz questions
Readers weigh in on the royal wedding
The royal wedding: I don't get it
Readers reach verdict on lawyer column
Our favorite lawyer movies ever
Readers pick their worst Oscar winners
The 10 worst best pictures ever
25 hit-man movies to die for
The 10 greatest sidekicks ever
The 10 biggest celebrity missteps of 2010
Who's cooler than Steve McQueen? (Answer: nobody)
The best revenge movies ever
The good old days, when celebrities weren't train wrecks
Making sport of celebrities
Youth will be served? Don't give me that trash!
A celebrity answer is no answer at all
Caution: geniuses at work



© 2010, The Orange County Register; Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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