Friday, October 17, 2008

Zach is the man

my hero Zach G.








_______________________ Update __________________________________

I think I should note that I don't post this, or describe Mr. Galifianakis as "The Man" because I am a fan of the scene alluded to here. Just the opposite -- a horrible intrusion into a movie. Not funny, imho. Apparently beloved, oft-referred-to, but apiece of shyte wherein the char. . . . never mind. I fucking hate the scene, and I know that Zach G. does too.

But damn if he ain't funny for hating it.

9 comments:

¡barangus!™ said...

and his funnier cousin, Seth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udgAGkTzHKY

Mister Parker said...

I remember my reaction in 1989 to When Harry Met Sally was that it was a very good knockoff of Woody Allen, and that the scene in question was fresh and funny and, within the context of the story, both an entirely appropriate comment on Harry's smug complacency and a necessary step in his growth from a shallow womanizer to a man capable of love.

But then the scene was ripped out of context, repeated endlessly and imitated badly (particularly by those damn shampoo commercials) until it became the stuff of parody and ridicule. And now many of us wish the scene had never been committed to film.

But I don't think that's Rob Reiner's or Meg Ryan's fault. The scene wasn't imitated because it was bad, it was imitated because it was good, and I don't think that's the fault or responsibility of the people who created it. I think the blame lies with the talentless hacks who tried to ride on the back of someone else's success. I mean, is it the fault of the Beatles that there were so many bad groups trying to do the Beatles, or the fault of the Sex Pistols that there were so many bad punk imitators, or the fault of Nirvana that there were so many bad grunge imitators? I would argue no.

Video Pimp said...

I gues where we disagree about the scene is your sense that within the context of the story, both an entirely appropriate comment on Harry's smug complacency and a necessary step in his growth from a shallow womanizer to a man capable of love. I had a very different reaction.

While it arguably helped drive the narrative as you describe -- the Harry narrative, also known as the "bigger star (at the time) narrative -- it struck me as so wholly inappropriate and contradictory to the story and the characters as to take me right out of the movie. I thought that they had established a Sally character who, while not a prude, was so constrained [e.g. airplane sequence, and concerned with propriety [e.g. lunching scene with friends, incl. Carrie Fischer], and somewhat fussbudgety that I never for a second bought it, and found it at the time to be the sort of comedic set-piece that could only be ripped from the context of the movie [since I didn't think it was IN context] and replayed for what it was -- a "moment" for Meg Ryan, and a punch line from Rob Reiner's mom.

I had a similar response to at least one scene per flick from mr. Reiner -- scenes that, standing alone, are "done well," but leap out at me during the movie as frauds that come at the expense of the movie.

You're absolutely right about the need to movie the Harry character from what he had been to what he was becoming, but Sally faking an orgasm in Katz's was more jarring to me than if an alien had landed and explained to him, through Christmas-Carol-like flashbacks, that he'd been smugly rolling over with the sound o' fakery in his ears.

We may have just had a very different reaction to the Sally character.

I just re-read [well, for the first time carefully read your last paragraph. "Imitated because it was good" is quite true; my objection hasn't been the endless subsequent pop-references and allusions, nor to the good execution; rather, I never thought it was within the context of the story or appropriate.

I thought Bruno Kirby's character was spot-on, btw. . . . his cum shot on Carrie Fischer's bum [stand-in arse, of course] was wholly realized, but remained within the characters as drawn.

What; you didn't get the 2oth Anniversary Edition?

Video Pimp said...

typos -- there should be a bracket after [e.g. airplane sequence, and about the need to movie the Harry character should probably have the verb "move" instead.


Oh, yeah -- I also need a closing bracket around "carefully read," and may indeed have thirty other typos.

Why edit something as mindless as my cinematic observations.

I'll miss Double Indemnity at the AFI this weekend, btw -- GahdDAMNit! 'Cause I wanted to see it there, since I can't watch it on TV. . . . .

Video Pimp said...

Final thought -- it seems odd that I'd say "I don't really respond to the allusions / repetition/pop culture stuff" when my original post was a Zach G. goof on the overplayed, cut scene.

i think that I just assumed that the guy is a genius who saw the gross distortion of the Sally character.

Or maybe he is someone who responds to

the scene [being] ripped out of context, repeated endlessly and imitated badly (particularly by those damn shampoo commercials) until it became the stuff of parody and ridicule. And now [he is one of ] many of us wish the scene had never been committed to film.


Or it could just be that when I originally posted it, I laughed my ass off because he so clearly pulls shit like this all the time, everywhere. Comedians of COmedy indeed . . . . .

Video Pimp said...

speaking of ripped out of context -- is there any scene in the last 25 years that is so nakedly replayed everywhere just as a scene, with no reference to the movie? I mean, my different response to whether the scene played well doesn't at allgo to your other point that it has been so battered to shit by every VH1 replay show and commercial and . . . .

Video Pimp said...

okay, I'll confess - there's a little schtick involved in saying "last thought" and then adding another comment . . . .

Video Pimp said...

Sometimes I amuse only myself.

That's when I get carried away

Mister Parker said...

Hmm. I think my take on the Sally character was that after knowing Harry for more than ten years, she'd become comfortable enough to do the fake orgasm thing. As a way of finally being able to take the piss out of him after spending a decade not being able to think of the perfect rejoinder until long after she'd left the room and not having the guts to say it even if she had. And maybe instead of being the girl getting it from Sheldon, she had enough experience at that point to have some idea what she was talking about.

But I could also just be reading into the movie in order to make it work in my head. I do that sometimes, unconsciously, to smooth over bits that don't necessarily make sense otherwise. Like my brother noting that Harrison Ford and Karen Allen didn't seem as smooth working together in the last Indiana Jones movie as they did in the first and I said I took it to mean that the characters were older and more aware of their own limitations and thus the easy repartee stuck in their throats a bit. But I also acknowledged that in reality it was just because the actors are old and creaky and the dialogue isn't as well written.

By the way, with regard to your quesiton, has there been a scene in the last twenty-five years more often ripped out of context and imitated than the one in When Harry Met Sally? Can't think of one. A couple of lines oft-repeated are "I see dead people" and "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," but those are lines, not entire scenes. I'll bet there are more people who know the Meg Ryan scene who have never seen the movie than maybe any other scene in history. Top ten anyway.