Have I mentioned that I’m the preeminent Proust scholar in America?

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For a friend’s birthday last night, we went to see Little Miss Sunshine, which I really enjoyed. I think the Entertainment Weekly review was pretty crappy for it, but everyone who saw it seemed to say it was enjoyable, and I agreed. I think my very favorite crappy review is this amateur movie critic blogger review, though.

Steve Carrell is not a convicing suicide or Proust scholar. We’ve seen manic comedians play restraint. When Robin Williams did it in One Hour Photo it was all kinds of creepy. Carrell’s conversion to living seems to happen and unhappen as the plot needs it. As for his being a Proust scholar, apparently we are meant to be convinced by his yelling, “I’m a pre-eminent Proust scholar!” every time he pushes the van. You know in your heart that he’s a Proust scholar because a) it’s quirky and b) it lets him give that speech at the end.

What more does one have to do, exactly, to be a “convincing” Proust Scholar? Whip out the book and quote it? Carrying around all seven volumes would really drag down the action.
At the point where they start to hand grandpa’s body out the window, it struck me that there were some parallels to As I Lay Dying, but I’m not sure if that was intentional. Stephanie and I were discussing later the woman who played Pagent Official Jenkins — Beth Grant — we wondered what we’d seen her in before. She seems to be a very busy actress. I remember her from Six Feet Under and CSI, and also Donnie Darko.

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