The “appropriately twee soundtrack” is from the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, Vulture.com says, though it’s not clear that “appropriately twee” is even a possible thing. (Can anything be appropriately mincing? Appropriately too cute?)
The music signals us that they’re taking this film down the Deeply Meaningful Story route, which is a terrible sign. James Thurber‘s original short story wasn’t an uplifting tale about The Hero In All of Us. It was a harshly funny story about the weak-willed loser in all of us.
Granted, they don’t make $100 million features about weak-willed losers, at least not if they remain weak-willed losers. And Thurber’s original story clocked in at barely 2000 words, so you’ve got to do something to fill the time. But please.
Ben Stiller both stars and directs, so it’s his baby. Stiller was born four years after James Thurber died in 1961, and he is now, amazingly, the only actor in history to have three billion-dollar movie franchises. (Amazed kudos to you if you can name all three.)
That boxoffice record makes Stiller our dominant comedy heavyweight, and good for him. But am I wrong to be scared that he’s taking a page from the last dominant comedy heavyweight, Jim Carrey, and suddenly wants to Touch Us and Teach Us? Dear heavens, I hope not.
James Thurber was not really the type to roll in his grave, but he might be vibrating in there, especially if he can hear that appropriately twee soundtrack drifting through. Listen close and you can hear the “ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.”
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