Friday, May 04, 2007

Ladies: Ever wonder why guys are terrified of you?

Paul Feig

Dear Paul Feig,

I admit, I never watched your show Freaks and Geeks. Honestly, I was in high school at the time, and didn't want to get any more of it at home. And I hated high-school-based tv shows anyway. They never look like high school to me. So maybe I'm partially to blame for the show only lasting about half a season, but at least some of those crazy kids went on to stardom, right? Tonight I might even go see your buddy James Franco kick Tobey Maguire's ass. Point being, I never really got to know you as a writer until last week, when my 16-year-old cousin recommended this book to me.

First, I'm not quite sure how to feel about the kid reading this book, especially after finishing it myself and finding out what's in there.

Second, thank you, Paul Feig, for having the courage to write this book. I don't even care if you pulled a James Frey and made the whole damn thing up, because it sure as hell felt true, and more than a little felt eerily familiar. Especially page 117. I spent a good deal of high school genuinely concerned about making my fumbling, inept, ham-fisted attempts at flirting with any girl because I had just read Disclosure, and sexual harassment suits were kind of the "in" thing to do at the time, and I generally decided that if the girl actually wanted my attention, she'd make it pretty damn clear herself first, and then I could chase her away with my romantic ineptitude. No reason to scare her off before giving her a chance, or worse yet, get sued because she REALLY didn't want my attention in the first place. (In case you're wondering, Paul, my motivations have changed--slightly--, but my tactics have not)

You've written about a topic that terrifies most of us geeks to contemplate even in the darkest recesses of our cubicle hell, or lonely Monty-Python-postered dorm rooms, or secret public blogs. We don't even like to think about our (lack-of-)love lives, and you bared every excruciatingly embarassing moment of yours to the world. I notice the chapters never proceed so far as to tell us about your wife and how that relationship flourished, though--I can only assume that after reading the rest of the book, she threatened divorce and subsequent legal action if you ever tried.

It was sad, sweet, (too) often awkwardly familiar, and so bloody goddamned funny I had to stopreading it in public places because I was usually asked to leave after a couple pages. Those emergency room staff have no sense of levity at all. You have written the story we have all thought, yet none of us dared to write it. You even put your own, real picture and name on the cover. Paul Feig, I salute you.

However, I have to tell you something about the event you described in "Please Do Not Read This Chapter". You open (after begging me several times to not read it) by saying that perhaps the reason for writing it is to find "that other guys will tell (you) that they too have done what (you are) about to tell." Um, Paul? I'll back you up on every chapter of that book, except that one. That shit is just... damn, dude. Don't get me wrong--it was funny as hell. But. Just. Damn, dude. No, I never, ever tried that. Never even considered it. Not even close.

Great book, though. Thanks for having the balls to write it--I sure don't. Yet.

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posted by reyn at 3:29 PM


Blogger Elizabeth said...

*grins* An excellent and highly-entertaining review! Although I think I'm rather frightened of reading the book itself. I'm not sure I want to know all the icky details of dating as an adolescent boy!

The word I'm hearing on the street is that Spidey...well, kinda gets washed down the water spout in the 3rd film. Thoughts?

5/07/2007 10:35 PM  

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