Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Lighter Side of Snobbery

Whether it's deserved or not, the phrase "a movie critic" conjures up a single image etched in our collective national consciousness of a corpulent blob who erects a facade of snobbery to cover up his morbidly sensitive ego. Despite Leonard Malton's svelte homeliness and dozens of other exceptions, most of us can point to a national or local critic who embodies the film snob stereotype, people who are easily identified by their tendency to laud any eccentricity simply for eccentricity's sake or fall rapturously in love with any movie that ends with the word "fin." The Critic, created by the minds behind The Simpsons, plays on this image for a hilarious two seasons (too short a life span if you ask me), twisting the snob stereotype into a lovable, empathetic protagonist starring the voice of comic genius Jon Lovitz. The Critic is undeniably an overlooked classic. Here's one of my favorite clips from the episode "Eyes on the Prize." In this clip, Lovitz's character watches a short he directed as a film student in order to inspire him to win his next Pulitzer. The clip hilariously plays on the absurdity of film elitism.

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