Laurel and Hardy in “Big Business”
19 hours ago
This is the former location of the blog of the Mother of Invention Acting School in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The blog is now located at http://utteracting.com/blog. This old location has been left in place as an archive.
The film is often quite funny, especially when it casts a knowing eye on the rituals of middle-class Jewish suburbanhood at the very moment when they were about to have the generational rug pulled out from under them. (It is no coincidence that the movie is set at the time when Joel and Ethan were themselves coming of age.) And there are moments of genuine tenderness as well. But humor and empathy alike have trouble flourishing in the grim narrative soil the Coens provide, in which every cosmic joke is a black one. As Ethan explained in an interview, “For us, the fun was inventing new ways to torment Larry.” Over time, though, the fun becomes theirs alone. The game is too apparent and, for all the Coens’ craftsmanship, the accumulation of insults becomes deadening.