"ABSOLUTELY SEE IT.In the musical "Gypsy," when it's suggested to the young Gypsy Rose Lee that she consider stripping," she replies, "I don't have any talent."
A really smart, slick, cool espionage movie"
-Ben Lyons, AT THE MOVIES
To which her unofficial mentor, Tessie Tura, replies, "You think they have?," pointing to other strippers. "All you need to have is no talent."
Arthur Laurents wrote the line in 1959 and Leonard Spielgass retained it for the 1962 film of "Gypsy." Fifty years later, it efficiently sums up what happened to film criticism in the last few years. Those newspapers that haven't closed have opted to lay off their movie critics. Unfortunately, it seems as if it's been only the good ones that that been shown the door.
What we're left with are the no-talents - the toxic, ambitious hangers-on.
I'm happy to no longer be a member of the club. I dropped out a few years ago while I was still young enough to enjoy my life - get it back, actually - and long before the current newsprint crisis (which must be terribly difficult to witness from the confines of a newsroom) took hold.
It's also nice to see films selectively and leisurely, without deadlines.
Anyway, about the hangers-on... These are people whose idea of "critiquing" movies is to write/say, "ABSOLUTELY SEE IT."
But, wait. Almost anyone can say "ABSOLUTELY SEE IT," right?
All it takes is ... no talent.
This is nothing new.
Pauline Kael predicted the trend way back in 1971 when she wrote in her fabulous essay, "Notes of Hearts and Minds": "To be a movie critic, no training or background is necessary; 'too much' interest in movies may be a disqualification." Well, folks, the good people have been disqualified.
And that's how we've ended up with "critics" who brainlessly chirp - and who are gleefully quoted in the ads as chirping - "ABSOLUTELY SEE IT."
All caps, natch.