Paulie: Charlie Kaufman, Eat Your Heart Out

From left: Jay Mohr, Jay Mohr, and Jay Mohr.

Paulie (1998)
Directed by John Roberts
Written by Laurie Craig
91 min.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—when you’re a kid, it’s damn near impossible to know whether a movie is revered or not. You watch a thing, and if you enjoy it, it’s a part of your world. And your world is only as big as you and your parents, so if you and your parents like the thing, it’s a ‘classic’. Only when you grow up do you discover, by asking friends and scouring the internet, how many movies you thought were well-known that were really just well-known to you.

It still throws me for a loop that I’m the only person in the history of the world who has seen Little Big League. When I was a kid, it played on TV just as much Rookie of the Year, but apparently, I’m the only one who flipped to it. I must’ve watched it damn near 30 times, and I still know parts from it by heart: “Kids today are amazing—I played winter ball down in Venezuela, and they had kids half his age, every one of them speaking Spanish. That’s a hard language.” “They speak Spanish in Venezuela.” “I know! That’s my point!”

But I digress.

The point is, Paulie is one of these such movies—a movie that, for whatever reason, hasn’t had its due, despite being ubiquitous at one point in time. And like Little Big League, it still holds up today. It’s thoroughly enjoyable family fare.

But it’s also so much more.

Paulie is the most ‘meta’ family film of all time.
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Blue Jasmine: Woody Allen’s Most Visceral Film In Damn Near Ever


Blue Jasmine (2013)
Written and Directed by Woody Allen (Duh)
98 min.

Woody Allen is my absolute favorite filmmaker, so it’s kind of funny that I’ve never reviewed one of his movies on here (not counting my brief glowing endorsement of Zelig in my 10 Films Every Libertarian Should See list). I guess I just don’t really have much to say about his films, which isn’t true, but fuck you I just don’t feel like it. Basically, I like, or like like, or love all his movies, and I definitely have lots of things to say about them, but where to start? Do I just do a series of lists, each covering a different decade? I guess. That’s probably the best way to go about it. But fuck you, that sounds like a lot of work. So I’ll just review Blue Jasmine for now, and do all that other stuff in the future, which most scientists agree is far, far away and not at all worth thinking about.
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10 Films Every Libertarian Should See

Dogville (2003)

I don’t really get into my political leanings here at Smug Film, for the obvious reason of this being a site about movies, not politics, but also because I hate creating arbitrary ‘dividing lines’ in my work. It’s petty, and I can’t stand when others do it. For instance, I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, I think he’s our greatest American filmmaker, but I cringe whenever he peppers little jabbing jokes against the Right in his films when the story doesn’t even call for it. Those sort of winks to the audience take you out of the film momentarily, whether you agree with them or not. It’s distracting and wholly unnecessary. So rest assured, people who disagree with me politically—there will be no lazy digs, or insults, or other ‘playing to the base’ bullshit in this post whatsoever.

This list will be of particular interest to libertarians, that’s a given, but even if that ain’t your particular alignment, it should at least be a unique window in the the sort of things we, or at least I, care about, both politically and philosophically. And don’t worry, there are no propaganda docs on here; these are simply great movies, many of which (hell, probably all of which) aren’t even made by libertarians. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, they just so happen to contain, within their myriad elements, certain elements that we get a kick out of. Enjoy!
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