I’m not one to make fun, mostly because I know I’ve written silly things that people could sneer at without hesitation. I mean, you only have to go back to Saturday to find an out-there example, when I reviewed Magic Mike in part by talking about Michael Jordan lighting it up against the Utah Jazz. That’s a little strange, and I could see someone reading it and doing a double-take or something. And that’s fine, I think.
So, consider this post my personal double-take after reading Steven Rea’s enthusiastic review of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted from the Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s the opening sentence that made me stop in my tracks and contemplate the state of contemporary existence. Here’s what it says:
“It’s early days, but I’m betting on Mark Wahlberg for best actor when the Oscars swing around next year.”
There are a few things I find strange about this sentence. Most troubling is the choice of the word “betting,” because I can hardly think of a less efficient way to spend hard-earned money than on the odds of Wahlberg receiving a Best Actor nomination for Ted. Then there’s the way the sentence begins with “it’s early days,” as if a mid-November release for Ted — which may have made some sense, since the are a few snow-covered scenes in the film — would’ve boosted Wahlberg’s gold-statue chances. More simply, I find it perplexing that any average moviegoer, let alone a film critic, would watch Ted or react to it with the Academy Awards crossing through their mind even for a brief instant.
And it’s not like we’re talking Best Original Screenplay or something — a category which has, on the briefest of occasions, shown inklings of interest in R-rated comedies. (To provide a recent example, the mega-hit The Hangover didn’t ultimately score a nod, but was at least in the conversation thanks to a Golden Globe win and a spot in the American Film Institue’s Top 10 of 2009.) No, we’re talking Best Actor, and if Wahlberg could only muster minimal traction for David O. Russell’s The Fighter — which won Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, etc. — then I’m thinking the guy’s Ted chances are zilch (though, to play it safe, a more feasible starting-point would be Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy at the Globes).
I’ll cut it off there, having already typed up more than I intended to. Again, no disrespect, no malice intended. This was just something I couldn’t read once and put down forever. It’s too bonkers.