‘Best of’ list deserves a rant and a critique

Adler’s review may have been spot-on, but her list aroused violent urges.

I have just read Erin Adler’s review of “The Man” in Thursday’s Daily and her list of “ten best” buddy film pairings of all time. Adler’s film review may have been spot-on, but when I saw her list, I came shockingly close to violently dismembering several people in the vicinity. I could only be calmed through the steady application of alcohol and illicit narcotics, and a promise that when I stopped shaking I would write this.

After suppressing murderous rage, a question arose that I now put to Adler: Are you kidding me? You seem like a fairly decent writer and a nice person, please don’t take offense, but what is wrong with you? 

Let’s set aside the fact that your list “of the best comedic duos in American film” omits such names as Martin & Lewis and Crosby & Hope (that’s Bing Crosby and Bob Hope), who did a host of funny movies that gave rise to the term “buddy movie.” This was way back when their films were called “talkies,” and shown through a Cine-Kinet-A-Scope to delighted audiences of well-heeled Victorian gentlemen and ladies, 175 years before your film knowledge timeline begins.

Adler’s list doesn’t even include the best pairings of the past 20 years. The only possible explanation for Adler overlooking DeNiro and Grodin in “Midnight Run” is that she suffered blunt force head trauma and then, in her delirium, immediately sat down and typed up that list.

Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler spring to your mind, but “Midnight Run” ethereally slips through your fingers? The household names of Tomlin and Midler beat out Cheech & Chong? Redford & Newman? Chase & Hawn? These are all screen teams Adler should be familiar with because their movies are shown on cable television, which seems to be the sole source of her extraordinary film expertise.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the editor. I will happily crank out 500-word film reviews with sparkling wit and dazzling eloquence in no time, for no pay and no credit, if it means that the Minnesota Daily readership will be forever spared your jaw-droppingly off-mark compilations of “Best Of.” Please, for the love of all that is holy in this world, think of the readers.

Ted Atkinson resides in the Washington, D.C., area. Please send comments to [email protected]