Ron Rosenbaum

Dumb Comment of the Week

Some commenter wrote in virtually chortling with glee that The Reader, which, in an earlier post, I’d called the “Worst Movie of the Year” picked up (wow!) a Golden Globe for Kate Winslet’s erforance as an unreentant concentration camp guard.

Here’s the ignorant comment:

“The movie was staying true to the source award-winning novel. Blame the writer then whyduncha.”

This is one of those great Marshall McLuhan moments where one gets the source to refute the person trying to vaunt his knowledge of the source.

I actually attended a screening of The Reader in which the director Stephen Daldry descibed the “fight” he had with the”award winning” author of the novel,Bernhard Schlink, to change the novel, NOT to stay true to it, but to alter it radically so that it virtually contradicted the novel’s redemptiveness for the Winslet characer. So the commenter is talking through his (or her–of course an anonymous blowhard) hat when he or she says the movie was “staying true” to the novel. The novelist himself (and the director) refuted this. The movie contradicted the “award-winning” novel. (note how imressed the commenter is with awards of all kinds). The commenter obviously just pretended to read the book or didn’t understand it (or the movie–or both) and tried to make him or herself look smart, but ended up making him or herself look extra dumb.

Why do commenters do this? Because comments give them the freedom to act like they’re know-it-alls. If you notice that’s the disease of most critical commenters on blogs–know-it-all-itis. Sad. But dumb.

I think I’ll make “dumb coment of the week” a regular feature.

And The Reader remains “Worst Movie of the Year” for all the awards it may win.