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'Wicker Park' follows all the rules


Photo
photo courtesy of MGM
Josh Hartnett enjoys a moment in "Wicker Park." Unfortunately for him it won't last long. Unfortunately for filmgoers, that may still be too long.
By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 10, 2004
Print this

What surely had all the elements of a flawless movie turned out to be a dud.

When attending film school, filmmakers are given a set of "rules for success" outlining specific elements to have within a movie. I happened to have stumbled upon "Wicker Park" director Paul McGuigan's copy of these rules. They are as follows:

Rule #1: Have a prissy-looking mama's boy play your leading man. That way, you are only attracting the bare minimum of adult viewers. A whole slew of preteen Tiger Beat celebrity worshippers will spend their week's allowance on your movie. Even if your movie gets panned by critics and viewers alike, little Jenny will tell little Ashley, who will then tell little Kimmie that the leading man is a fox. This creates good buzz.

Rule #2: Have unknown leading ladies who aren't too attractive. That way, a woman won't take the attention off of the leading man's pretty face, and your target audience (little Jenny) won't riot and throw their Goobers at the screen. Having an attractive woman in your movie alongside your Tiger Beat poster child leading man can only end badly.

Rule #3: Don't ever, under any circumstance, hire an actor who can actually act. People don't like good actors. This rule is clearly self-explanatory.

Wicker Park

2 out of 10


MGM/UA Pictures
Rated: PG-13
114 minutes
now playing
Website: http://www.mgm.com/wickerpark/

Rule #4a: Plots and cohesive storylines are for loser filmmakers who aren't interested in making loads of cash. If you want your movie to do well, do not have a plot. Especially one that is hard to follow (see: little Jenny). Don't ruin your kickass cast and movie with a story.

Rule #4b: If you decide to have a plot, make it boring. Either boring, stupid or pointless. The audience will think you are snobby if you have a good plot.

Rule #5: Have a good soundtrack. Have a soundtrack that's so good that fans of the bands that are on it are ashamed that their favorite band has sold out to commercial Hollywood. This creates good buzz.

Rule #6: Have really bad cinematography. You will want to create the ambiance of a car commercial for the first fifteen minutes. This will confuse and intrigue your viewers. Most of the audience won't like it, but there will be one or two people who think its artsy and cool. This is your target audience.

Rule #7: Hire Matthew Lillard. This rule is also self-explanatory.

Rule #8: Make sure to work in a gimmick involving fake identities. People love movies about fake identities.

Rule #9: Make your film PG-13. This way, little Jenny can get in. Otherwise, no one will see your movie.

Rule #10: Make the movie experience so painful that people think they enjoyed it after they saw it. But in reality, they just enjoyed the fact that it was over. Upon reflection, people will realize this. But the joke's on them: They will have already paid.

I'm glad I got a hold of this rulebook. Otherwise, I might have had to live in a world in which people, not filmmaking rules, were at fault for terrible movies.



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