I’ve been unwittingly charting the progression of the Cinderella Man trailer hype at work. Now I was no fan of this film in advance, in that it contains many elements on my Enemies List: chief among them any script by Akiva "HackMaster4000" Goldsman, anything "from the makers of ‘A Beautiful Mind,’" anything with Russell Crowe in it (I had to watch that son of a bitch on ‘Inside the Actors’ Studio’ the other night and had the fortune to watch James Lipton go…"TELL ME, Mistah CROWE…what IS…FORTY ODD foot of GRUNTS?" and then be subjected to a 40 Odd Foot of Grunts video, so just shut up), and anything about boxing, which is a total Guyfest major yawn factory (apologies to certain friends who seem to think boxing is the greatest thing ever invented, but maybe if you hadn’t left-hooked my collarbone when you were all loaded I’d be more sympathetic to your machismo pastimes–I prefer a "Golden Girls" marathon, so hey). Honestly, this movie could not possibly look shittier if it wanted to, because in addition to all that other crap, it’s also supposed to be some hyper-patriotic bullshit Americafest. Yawwwn.
But tell that to the people who make the trailers. A few weeks ago, it was pretty simple: "When the country was on its knees, one man brought us to our feet." All right, a little hackneyed (Goldsman!) but nothing extraordinarily hackneyed. Then the reviews start coming in, and they are predictably gushy because everyone wants a piece of the Howard/Grazer cash gushfest (not this girl! ha! I’ve got integrity and two pennies to rub together, so suck it, Opie!).
So first it’s "the summer’s first good film. Two thumbs up." All right. Then it’s "a masterpiece! The best film of the summer by far." Well, still not too impressive–all it’s got to compete with is a Star Wars that isn’t nearly as sucky as its previous two installments (so I’ve heard; I’m not seeing another Star Wars movie until I have another boyfriend who makes me watch one; so basically I’m not seeing another Star Wars movie ever) and some CGI penguins, one of whom is hilariously ethnic.
Then the reviews start verging into the ridiculous. "Not just the best film of the summer, but the best film of the year!!!" All right, I can take it. Sure. Whatever. That’s not saying a lot. But then tonight, there’s one that claims: "Cinderella Man is not just the best film of the year, it’s one of the BEST FILMS EVER." What, ever? Ever? Huh? I can see Russel Crowe whining out a bunch of uplifting platitudes beating out The Honeymooners, but frickin’ Psycho? Midnight Cowboy? Taxi Driver? The one with a young Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek? Frickin’ The Shining? Huh? What’s next? "Cinderella Man is not only the best film ever, but it is the best expression of anything in the history of expressive media–fuck you, Bible!"