Sunday, July 4, 2010
PAUL BLART: MALL COP (2009)
The 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die blogger walks into the door of his psychiatrist’s office. During the previous session, the blogger explained to his doctor that he sometimes loses focus, control and perspective during his viewing of these films. Dr. Berger, who looks exactly like Judd Hirsch, prescribed that the blogger watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop, much to the chagrin of the blogger.
Dr. Berger: (already seated) Welcome back, my friend. Please make yourself comfortable.
The 1001 blogger sits down without saying a word.
Dr. Berger: Well did you watch the movie I told you to?
Dr. Berger: So what are your thoughts? And how did it make you feel?
Blogger: I don’t know. Just like someone who might watch have trouble watching Citizen Kane for the first time after being told how great it is, I went into watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop expecting the worst movie of all time. I guess I thought I would run screaming from living room saying “I’ll be good. Let me watch Lawrence of Arabia or The Godfather. I’ve learned my lesson!”
Dr. Berger: I take it that didn’t happen.
Dr. Berger: And what did happen?
Blogger: It was okay. It had its moments. I actually thought Kevin James was kind of funny at times. I can’t believe I’m saying this.
Dr. Berger: You laughed out loud a few times.
Blogger: I wouldn’t say that.
Dr. Berger: Yes, you did.
Blogger: Wait a minute. Was that you outside my window? I thought that was a raccoon! I don’t know whether to compliment you on being a dedicated professional or get a restraining order.
Dr. Berger: I am thorough with my patients. And you laughed. I saw you go ‘ha ha ha ha.’
Blogger: No, never four ha’s. I’ll admit to a couple of sequential ha’s, but never ha ha ha ha. Two ha’s is an acknowledgement. Four ha's is a commitment.
Dr. Berger: Sometimes you might like a lame, lowbrow comedy. What’s wrong with that?
Blogger: I didn’t say I liked it. I just said I didn’t hate it. I didn’t call it lame either. Hold on, I’m confused.
Dr. Berger: So aren’t you mad? A Kevin James comedy about a mall cop makes $146 million domestic. $146 million! Doesn’t that stick in your craw?
Blogger: Yes…No…I don’t know. Why are you confusing me, you bastard?
Dr. Berger: Here’s sophisticated brand A over here. This is the product the good people like. Here’s generic brand B over here. The bad people like this. And there’s more of the bad people. And those bad people have paid for Kevin James’s mansion in Beverly Hills. But it least gives you a forum to make fun of the bad people.
Blogger: You make it sound so…sordid.
Dr. Berger: You tell me if it's sordid! Sitting on your sofa and mocking. Is that what you want to do?
Blogger: No, no. I need a new way of thinking about things. That’s too simple.
Dr. Berger: You need a new paradigm.
Blogger: Yes, a new paradigm. Uh, what exactly do you mean?
Dr. Berger: You grew up in a Siskel and Ebert world. Thumbs up. Thumbs down. Good vs. Bad. Right vs. Wrong. Life isn’t so absolute. Do you think most people are going to get your Jean-Luc Godard movies? The whole thing is more complex than you seem to acknowledge.
Blogger: One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.
Dr. Berger: Right. That’s right. It’s not a hard concept to understand, but implementation is a different story.
Blogger: (Sighing) You know, I feel better. I feel free. Find beauty where you can, even if it’s in a empty bag swirling in circles in the wind. I thank you, doctor. What about next week?
Dr. Berger: No next week. You don’t need me anymore. You’re ready to be on your own.
Blogger: But I...I know you're right. I’ll take that hug now.
Blogger and Dr. Berger embrace.
Blogger leaves Dr. Berger's office prepared to continue on.