Spoil-sporting

The parody that attempts to end all parodies

“Could you aim that comet at my ex-wife’s house?”

‘Spoilsports’ Leonard DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence meet ‘reality purveyors’ Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett, in Don’t Look Up, now streaming; video still courtesy of Netflix. (1)

Viewing Don’t Look Up, recently, two voices chimed in my head:

Voice 1: (‘Spoilsport’ voice) I cheered for the humming bird. The momma/baby hippo. Reminded me of the marauding killer shark sequences in Jaws, when I caught myself cheering for the shark.

Voice 2: (‘Annoying skeptic’ voice) Why do all the ‘bad’ people look so compelling; the good’ people’ look so… what’s the opposite of ‘compelling’ ? common?… banal?… ‘grise’? (2)

It’s the make-up.

Don’t Look Up is the story of a wayward comet aimed for earth and the astronomer duo who risk going to a CIA-inspired hell (“off the grid”) for delivering the bad news to a Trumpette-like US President — stiletto heels and all — played by a sneering Meryl Streep (MS).

For the film cognoscenti Don’t Look Up parodies conspiracy-thrillers…”The Post”- where MS plays Katherine Graham, “Wag the Dog,” “Seven Days in May.” One finds this film genre where ‘noirish’ plot meets ‘head-candy conspiracy revelation.’

For the political cognoscenti, there are a stream of ‘inside the Beltway’ renderings.

Don’t Look Up parodies them all with a dose of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Such is the current compartment for the conspiracy-obsessed: self-parody.

Except for ‘owning reflection,’ Don’t Look Up fails at parodying itself. Or taking its subject — conspiracy? climate change? — seriously. At film’s end we are voyeurs looking at our own demise.

That still makes us voyeurs.

The comet doesn’t help.

January 7

1- Don’t Look Up (Netflix), released 2021, written and directed by Adam McKay and David Sirota, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Tyler Perry, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Jonah Hill.

2-Except Jennifer Lawrence, whose character drifts along, impeccably dressed and styled.

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Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.

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