“American Beauty” is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero’s problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure–not the specific details, but the general outline.
The movie is about a man who fears growing older, losing the hope of true love and not being respected by those who know him best. If you never experience those feelings, take out a classified ad. People want to take lessons from you.
Q ** 1/2
R, 92 m., 1982
A few days after Q was screened at the Cannes Film Festival (under its original title, The Winged Serpent), the following conversation took place between Samuel Z. Arkoff, the film’s producer, and Rex Reed, the critic:
Reed: Sam! I just saw The Winged Serpent! What a surprise! All that dreck – and right in the middle of it, a great Method performance by Michael Moriarty!
Arkoff: The dreck was my idea.
I believe him. Arkoff has been producing films for thirty years now, and even if he was honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, his heart still lies with shots of a giant flying lizard attacking a woman in a bikini on top of a Manhattan skyscraper. He’s just that kinda guy.
Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion, 1989 Edition: Full-Length Reviews of 875 Films on Cassette
This is a great collection. Movies Roger Ebert loved and ones he hated. From the VHS era.
In 1994, Roger Egbert reviewed the comedy “Milk Money”, a film about a prostitute who befriends 3 boys. He hated it so much, that he didn’t give it a conventional negative review. Instead, he phrased his review as a fictional conversation between two studio executives discussing the movie. from movies
B: So the hooker is in the tree house, Dad thinks she’s a math tutor, and meanwhile the gangster is cruising the streets of the suburb with another hooker, looking for her. Dad is fighting against the encroachment of the wetlands and finally chains himself to his automobile so the bulldozers can’t come in. And we throw in some of those cute conversations where one person means one thing and another person means something else. You know, so that all of the people in the town know she’s a hooker except for Dad, who takes her out to eat and scandalizes your standard table of gossiping local biddies.
A: This is nice, this is original.
Roger Ebert, Milk Money review