Monday, April 11, 2011

David Gordon Green

There was a time when I loved David Gordon Green. I thought George Washington was a fine, fine debut film that dealt with interracial friendships in a mature and complex way, largely by realizing that race isn't always a big deal anymore. All the Real Girls is one of my favorite films of the last decade. I love this. I wasn't a huge fan of Undertow, but I respected it.

And then Green ran out of stories to tell. I haven't seen Pineapple Express, but I heard it was alright, nothing more. Now we have the execrable-looking Your Highness. Roger Ebert lets him have it:

Now comes “Your Highness.” The movie is a perplexing collapse of judgment. Assume for the sake of argument that David thought the time had come for him to direct a farce. Fair enough. One with a severed cyclops head, an emasculated minotaur, damsels in distress, crowds of witless extras, castles, hydras and ... mechanical bird? OK, they come with the territory. Not so much the bird. But why this screenplay? What did they think would be funny? They're satirizing a genre that nobody goes to see when it's played straight. It's sad when good actors dress funny and go through material more suitable for a campfire skit on the closing night of summer camp.
Of course, this is hardly the first indie director to collapse once Hollywood comes calling. But does anyone really think Green has another masterpiece left in him? Or even a good movie? I hope I'm wrong.  But I'm extremely skeptical.