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David Wain, Bob Grimm Work Through a Misunderstanding

I can't imagine I would have been not nice to you after a Stella show ("Step Critics," Jan. 22). Perhaps it was a miscommunication? In any case, if I was anything other than gracious, please accept my apologies.

David Wain, Director, Role Models

Bob Grimm responds:

This is in reference to my saying that Wain "looked at me like I was some kind of dick or something" when I paid him a compliment at a Stella (his brilliant comedy troupe) show. He and his cohorts (Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black) were cool enough to stick around post-performance and sign autographs. The guys were dealing with hundreds of fans, a busy tour schedule and a show that featured an asshole bum-rushing the stage.

Anyway, I got to Showalter first, and he was extremely polite. I got to Black next; I praised him for his recent book, My Custom Van, and he seemed a little grouchy ... totally understandable. Then I got to Wain, and told him congrats on his fantastic movie (Role Models). He said "thanks" and looked up at me like he'd rather be doing something else (perhaps taking a nap).

Every geek fanboy getting an autograph has had that awkward moment when you want to say something to a celebrity, even though you should just keep your mouth shut. So, my joke was a reference to an awkward moment that many of us have experienced, and it was at Wain's expense. I apologize. He's one of my heroes, and if you haven't seen Wet Hot American Summer, Stella or his online show Wainy Days, you must get cracking.

'Happy-Go-Lucky' Left This Reader Neither Happy nor Lucky; Discuss!

Your long movie reviews are always at least somewhat useful, but the Top 10 notes were a mess. Forgoing other bones I might pick, and even allowing for different tastes, how can you argue that Happy-Go-Lucky was any good? The ecstatic New York Times review made me think it would be fun, but like most movies these days, it had no coherence.

It begins with the heroine cycling across London to a bookstore she doesn't know; she tries unsuccessfully to chat with a stone-faced clerk, and leaves to find her bike stolen. So? This leads to nothing. Later, she has her back manipulated; the only reason seems to be it's a chance to show her seminaked. The only sustained plotline comes from the wacko driving instructor--his paranoid conspiracy theories are at least coherent. But anyone who approaches an obviously deranged man talking to himself, alone at night in a strange part of town, is obviously a wacko, too.

The whole film is episodic: It could have begun and ended anywhere. Do movies have scripts now, or just lists of scenes that might please target audiences?

I feel considerably less confidence in your reviewers after reading this issue. Granted, my real beef is with movies themselves, and they agree it wasn't much of a year. If the whole business collapsed like a housing bubble, I wouldn't be surprised.

Herbert N. Schneidau

Actually, We Prefer 'Stick It' to 'Shove It'

Regarding "Silencing the 'Citizen'" (Editor's Note, Jan. 22): I, too, will mourn the passing of the Tucson Citizen, largely because it provides a much more politically balanced view than your paper or the Arizona Daily Star. Now all we'll have left in Tucson is two liberal/lefty papers effectively telling us conservatives: "Shove it." You guys haven't figured out that you don't alienate nearly half the market and expect to prosper. Of course, few accuse liberals of having common sense.

Tom Vana

Letter Writer Needs to Learn Difference Between Freedom and Imposition

Congratulations, Taylor Hardy ("I'm Sick and Tired of You Liberals Picking on Bigots!" Mailbag, Jan. 15); you're in the shrinking majority for the moment. But you're wrong: Nobody hates you because you call yourself a Christian.

The resentment you're encountering is for trying to impose and enforce your beliefs upon others. Freedom of religion doesn't include forcing anyone else to live by what you think you understand of your god's "do" and "don't" lists. Your claim not to hate gays fails under the weight of your high-handed, self-righteous, Bible-thumping, smug dismissals ("suck it up").

You're free to carry on thinking there are no homosexuals, no bisexuals, no transgendered people, but only defective, broken, misbehaving, disordered and insufficiently prayerful heterosexuals. But very soon, you'll be universally scorned alongside those who used your very same selfish, thoughtless arguments to oppose marriage between persons with different skin colors.

No matter what biblical principles you think this country has abandoned, its founders sought freedom from religious oppression. Shame on you: By fomenting and espousing just such oppression, you're doing far greater harm to the social fabric of America than any married gay couple ever will do.

Daniel J. Stern


Due to a printer error, the Jan. 29 Cinema Top Ten was incomplete. The list may be viewed in its entirety at the online edition and the TW blog. We apologize for the mistake.

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