When the announcements of the film, The Interview, first began hitting the media, I dismissed it as something I would see later on cable.
I've seen Seth Rogan and James Franco paired in two other films, Pineapple Express - which I found hilarious, and This Is the End - which was funny in much of the film but too gross for me in places. So I thought, oh well, I'll see this sometime down the road...
And then came the hackers, their blackmail, the major theater chains pulling out of their scheduled showings, and I grew furious.
After all, I'm an American and we as a country are all in this together. Our liberty is what sets our nation apart from much of the rest of the world. To me the most important is our freedom of speech. As an author, I also value the freedom to create without censorship. I will fight, seriously, to keep our liberty, because that is our birthright, for which generations of my family, including the latest one, fought (and still fight) to maintain.
All of that being said (written), yesterday, I plunked down in front of the old PC and watched The Interview.
It surprised me...
The Interview is hilarious. I laughed aloud, well a better word would be guffawed, in several places. Sure, there were plenty of really, AND I MEAN REALLY, gross jokes, with lots of vulgar language. So what, I'm a grownup - nothing I haven't seen or heard before.
Bottom line, this is a satire of the first order. It's huge and overblown with comic reactions of epic proportions. Its entire premise is sublimely ridiculous. The cast is spotless from the stars to the smallest roles. The script is killer - wonderfully written, even with some of the jokes and bits that did not appeal to me.
I don't remember a recent film that had me laughing as hard as this one.
But I do remember a classic film that gave me the same experience - Charlie Chaplin's satire on Hitler, The Great Dictator. Sure, that one was a balance of satire and pathos, but the funny parts were hysterical and I laughed and laughed.
Films like the Interview and the Great Dictator serve a dual purpose, they make us laugh, and bring the autocratic dictators down to the level of hapless human beings - make them look more vulnerable instead of invincible. (And that may well be why the hackers objected...)
Besides, if the North Koreans thought this one was so bad, what did they think of Team America - World Police? I loved the infamous all puppet movie which slammed the father of the current leader of North Korea (as well as Bin Laden). As a romance writer I was amazed at marionettes making love onscreen, bare wood naked...
The hackers may have achieved a victory in delaying major distribution of the Interview, but it will be short lived if I know my country. We get angry when someone tries to take away our liberty - get a common cause and fight back. We Americans began our history by being defiant and determined. It appears we still have those virtues.
It will be interesting to see how many folks have viewed the film online. I know the first few days in the smaller theaters have been selling out.
By all means, if you love to laugh, see the Interview. I promise you will have a good time.
And if you want to strike a chord supporting our freedom of speech, see the Interview.
In the end, you will probably wonder, "How could such a silly movie set off such a furor?"
Most of all, remember, laughter truly is healing. We all need a good laugh these days.
Kudos to the folks who gave us the Interview and even to the hackers whose actions got our defiance up and ready.
Until next time...