Archives for posts with tag: Jerry Stiller

John Waters is a niche, independent filmmaker and you may go your whole life without having seen one of his films. But if you see one, see “Hairspray.” This 1988 musical about integration told through a Baltimore teen dance TV show is more commercial than his other fare, but that’s not why. You should see it because it shows Waters at the height of his writing/directing powers and it offers a lesson in how much campiness is the perfect amount of campiness for a campy film to be a good film. It’s also fortified with the right amount of irony.

Finally, toward the end of “Zoolander 2” (2016), I laughed out loud. I don’t know whether it was that particular gag or just the absurdity of the whole thing that finally got to me. This movie is stupid. It knows it’s stupid. It knows that you know it’s stupid. It wasn’t trying not to be stupid. In fact, because it knows that you know it’s stupid, it doubled down on stupid until stupid became absurd and I laughed out loud. Just like the original, there’s dopey male models and world-saving hijinks. Thank god Penelope Cruz has a sense of humor.


Is it possible to give an over-the-top performance when your character is a male model? What about a fashion designer? Or a talent agent? There’s so much scenery chewing going on in “Zoolander” (2001) you almost become numb to it and actually pay attention to the plot. Almost. To say it’s stupid is to say grass is green. But, you ask, what about crabgrass? It’s brownish. And what about that weird albino grass that grows under the kiddie pool when you leave it in the front yard for too long? To that, I say “Zoolander” is right up your alley.