At around the same time Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bill to ban the sale of bathtub-sized containers of soft-drinks rich in high fructose corn syrup was blocked, “Identity Thief” crossed the $120 million mark in box office receipts. Call it a coincidence but we’re reading signs in the (sweet, sweet iced) tea leaves. Our culture is killing itself and asking for seconds.
I like this article except for this opening statement and so I just have to interact with it for a minute. While I don’t drink soda and i do think that our culture is killing itself with stuff like that, and it’s killing good entertainment with bad entertainment, striking down a socialist bill banning a sugary drink is not an indication. That just means liberty is alive and well and we don’t need big brother taking care of us thank you very much. We’ll make our own decisions and if we want to die large, fat and happy, or large, fat and miserable, or not not, that is our choice. You may not, in a free capitalist society tell establishments what kind of drinks they can and cannot sell. To say you are reading the tea leaves of a culture that strikes down such a bill is ludicrous. This bill should have died in any free society whether we’re killing ourselves with sugary drinks or not.
Sorry, I got so sidetracked and angry with that opening statement that I have veered off course. Let me continue.
“Identity Thief’s” poster (which, yes, features an image of the lead actress clutching a giant sugar drink) offers a filmgoing experience without surprises. Like Mazin no doubt preaches on his podcast, it follows “beats.” You are going to hate Melissa McCarthy, then you will have road experiences with her, then at the end you will love her. In the thick of the third act there will be tearful catharsis and everyone will have learned something and grown. Or at least there will be enough lip service to make it seem that way, because that’s the convention, that’s how we know we’re seeing a movie. If you have to send and receive texts or step out to grab a refill, you won’t miss anything in this flick. Where’d you go today? We saw “Identity Thief.” Was it good? Yeah, it’s exactly what I wanted it to be just like Burger King’s Go Large special number three so I liked it and you should see it, too.
See, now that bit more or less works for me (though I think Burger King is a far better choice than this film and do occasionally eat a burger from Burger King if I’m out and about and need a fast lunch). The point is this film is a terrible film. I’d like to point out that I thought every story beat failed and I never learned to love McCarthy’s character and the growth was not believable. It really is quite a tragedy that it has done so well at the box office. It just encourages these poor excuse for filmmakers to churn out more garbage like it.