Steve Martin is a genius......
March 15, 2001 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Steve Martin is a, he's a desperate hack......well, he's no Bob Hope, that's for sure....or is he?
posted by briank (15 comments total)
bad link -

And I don't really like articles that quote Pauline Kael, she always comes off in a 'self-righteous, self-congratulatory tone'. And she's 'pretentious'.
posted by tiaka at 6:16 AM on March 15, 2001

Just because a creative individual tries new creative things doesn't mean he is desperate. I admire Steve for feeling that he can experiment with different things that interest him. He would be desperate if he was still running around with an arrow through his head being a wild and crazy guy.
posted by quirked at 6:27 AM on March 15, 2001

It's been a while since he's done much for me.... :-)
posted by jpoulos at 6:38 AM on March 15, 2001

All I gotta say is, LA Story is one of my favorite films of all time. Anyone who can make a movie like that has earned a lot of slack from me.
posted by kindall at 9:23 AM on March 15, 2001

I agree, with regard to LA Story. And Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a tremendous piece of work. Martin has shown great capacity in several fields, and is almost always entertaining. (Especially on his own; his worst film efforts, for instance, are the ones that he didn't write or direct.)

For all the world, this smells like nothing more than a setup so that if the Oscars suck plentifully, some showbiz pundit moron can say "Well, look, there were questions raised about Steve Martin weeks ago!"
posted by Dreama at 9:35 AM on March 15, 2001

I'm a very big fan of every phase of his career, but I felt that Picasso... pretty much sucked, Dreama (I saw it in Boston). While I was really intrigued with the premise, I felt that it lacked a real center. It felt to me like it could have used an editor going in an chopping out every third word (or every third scene). All in all, it came off as (and I hate to use the word) amateurish.

It's been a while since I saw it, so I'm hard-pressed to come up with specifics. I'm left only with my lingering impressions.
posted by jpoulos at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2001

"Pointy birds
Oh pointy pointy
Anoint my head
Anointy 'nointy"

The man is a genius. Show me a genius who hasn't laid some eggs.

posted by daver at 10:32 AM on March 15, 2001

There's a British faux-interviewer named Dennis Pennis who singlehandedly caused Steve Martin to abandon the country in a huff when he asked him - on national television, no less - "Why aren't you funny any more?" The truth hurts.

Martin made the choice to go from being a comedian to a ::sniff:: "cultural satirist." Cultural satirists are rarely amusing. So I say to Steve: Here's your white suit. Here's your arrow. Here's your banjo. Now get out there and sing, sing, sing.
posted by aaron at 12:43 PM on March 15, 2001

Damn, that was just a cruel thing to say.

Isn't staying power the one true challenge of the comedian? Almost every comedian I can think of has dwindled a bit over time. As far as turning to writing, Carlin (who seems to maintain form) writes well, but sticks to comedy. Eric Idle struggles with it as I've discovered. Steve is just trying to use his mind more then his funny bone and it short circuits. He certainly hasn't fallen as far as Robin Williams.

posted by john at 1:40 PM on March 15, 2001

I think the reason I still like Steve Martin is that I don't really demand he just be funny, dammit.
posted by kindall at 2:05 PM on March 15, 2001

I read Pure Drivel last month, and it was perfect. The answer is: Steve Martin is a genius.
posted by gazould at 2:16 PM on March 15, 2001

Pure Drivel was great.
Bowfinger was underrated. That was great too.
Steve Martin is great.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:40 PM on March 15, 2001

Just last night I came across Howard Stern on TV talking to Jay Leno. Jay was offering up a theory that might apply here: When stand-up comedians become successful and stop doing stand-up because they've got their own TV show, or a movie career, or whatever, they can never go back to stand-up because they forget how to be funny. They forget their routines, they start thinking in terms of sitcom humor instead of telling jokes (or stop thinking altogether and let other people write it all), and they just lose it. I don't think Steve Martin was mentioned as an example of this, but he could have been.
posted by aaron at 3:29 PM on March 15, 2001

For tiaka: Pauline Kael is a cunt. Here's a somewhat more positive view of Kael's influence (with other crtics) on American film criticism. Kael was a movie-lover first, unlike any other serious critic before her, and she preferred popular American film-makers to art-house Europeans, which I think is good.

Bowfinger was just not quite as good as other of Martin's works. See it. Eddie Murphy is pure genius in it, playing two utterly original characters. And Steve got a dig in on his ex-girlfriend Anne Heche at the end.
posted by dhartung at 3:30 PM on March 15, 2001

Steve Martin is one of the few heroes from my childhood who I can still admire as an adult. He has taken some high-profile risks, evolving into a sophisticated and intriguing artist. Of course, he'll never be as funny as Carrot Top, but then, who could be?
posted by Optamystic at 5:41 PM on March 15, 2001

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