David Cross got himself into a bit of trouble last week. It seems a snide joke by one of his buddies got under his skin, causing him to fire up the old blog. Big mistake. Now this world-class jokester is the butt of a lot of Internet jokes. David's crime? Well, he appeared in the critically defamed holiday juggernaut Alvin and the Chipmunks. And when one of his buddies decided to razz him about it in his blog, he broke rule number one of being famous.
Never, ever, ever ever, never ever ever ever answer your critics. No matter how pithy you think you are at the time, no matter how devastating a comeback you have, the very act of response sets you up to lose. David lost.
It all started when his buddy, comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille), joked in his blog about being offered the role, turning it down, throwing the script in the garbage can in disgust…and David leaping John Woo-style to intercept it and the paycheck from the trash. Now I know Patton, and his humor is a bit…abrasive…at times. Mine too. It's why I like him. When David read the blog, those words got under his skin and he fired off his own blog, detailing the four and a half reasons it's okay that he took the role.
Now, they were all pretty good reasons. He hadn't worked in six months; it didn't matter if the critics liked it or not because it was made for eight-year- olds, not critics; he got a chance to work with his friends, things like that. Now, I'm not going to spend all day writing about why David is right – because he is. All I'll say is that far too often we hold actors responsible for the crappy roles they take in films. As if we never have to do less than pleasant jobs or tasks that don't live up to our ideals. When I was a kid I never said, "I want to spend my days writing about what some B-Lister said on his blog!" No, I wanted to write about movies. So I do. And occasionally that means sucking it up, firing up the word processor and…writing about what a B-Lister said on his blog.
But really David's real crime is that for a moment, he forgot he was a comedian. A really funny comedian. He forgot that he could drop some really biting sarcasm in the place of a 1000-word diatribe. He forgot to say, "Patton, are you okay? I'm really worried about the bump you must have on your head that caused you to forget that you were in Blade: Trinity. And Balls of Fury. And Failure to Launch. And Taxi. And Zoolander. And…yeah." And that would have been the story. Instead, David Cross has a bit of blogging egg on his face. Of course, that royalty check from Alvin and the Chipmunks might dull the pain a bit.
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me
Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.