September 02, 2009

and the jonze spin begins

The New York Times covers the Where the Wild Things Are in this Sunday’s Magazine. Overall the piece feels like Jonze’s publicity machine cranking up the “they gave us $80 million to make the movie but those studio types are boring corporate suits and it won’t be our fault when it tanks at the box office” story line.

And though I’d love to be proven wrong, it sounds like the movie is gonna tank.*

Most kids’ movies are brightly, mouthwateringly colorful; Jonze favored a mushy-vegetable palate of greens and browns. Most kids’ movies have a clearly defined plot and an unambiguous moral lesson; Jonze’s film has about as much plot as an episode of “Jackass.” Most kids’ movies crackle with one-liners; in “Where the Wild Things Are,” the characters talk over one another and spend a lot of time stumbling over their own words as they try to articulate their feelings.

Jonze puts it this way…

“It’s like the studio was expecting a boy, and I gave birth to a girl. And now they’re learning to love and accept their daughter.”

You know the next chapter of the saga will be the piece in November about how Where the Wild Things Are bombed because the studio just didn’t spend enough to market the daughter they thought would be a son; with the subplot being that the blogger / Twitter buzz that they were counting on just couldn’t push it to a $100 mm opening weekend…never mind the fact that the thing was just too damned sad for anyone under the age of about 35.

* For point of reference, G.I. Joe has done $265 million in worldwide box office.