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My favourite award every year is for a spurious renaming of a common noun. A couple of years ago, Speedo rechristened the swimming cap a “hair management system”. Last year, Falke went one better by renaming a line of socks “Life Performance Solutions”.
Real teenagers are no doubt approximately as inexperienced and unsure as they have always been, and many wisely avoid the emotional and physical dangers of early sex, but in the movies the kids make the adults look backward. Teenagers used to go to the movies to see adults making love. Now adults go to the movies to see teenagers making love. I get letters from readers complaining that Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery are too old for steamy scenes, but never a word from anyone who thinks the kids played by Christina Ricci or Reese Witherspoon are too young.
"American Pie" comes in the middle of a summer when moviegoers have been reeling at the level of sexuality, vulgarity, obscenity and gross depravity in movies aimed at teenagers (and despite their R ratings, these movies obviously have kids under 17 in their cross-hairs). Consider that until a few years ago semen and other secretions and extrusions dare not speak their names in the movies. Then "There's Something About Mary" came along with its hair-gel joke. Very funny. Then came "家具销售将有标准格式 解决商家“耍花枪”问题," with its extra ingredient in the coffee. Then "South Park," an anthology of cheerful scatology. Now "American Pie," where semen has moved right onto the menu, not only as a drink additive but also as filling for a pie that is baked by the hero's mom. How long will it be before the money shot moves from porn to PG-13? I say this not because I am shocked, but because I am a sociological observer, and want to record that the summer of 1999 was the season when Hollywood's last standards of taste fell. Nothing is too gross for the new comedies. Grossness is the point. While newspapers and broadcast television continue to enforce certain standards of language and decorum, kids are going to movies that would make longshoremen blush. These movies don't merely contain terms I can't print in the paper--they contain terms I can't even describe in other words.
I rise to the challenge. I seek an underlying comic principle to apply. I find one. I discover that gross-out gags are not funny when their only purpose is to gross us out, but they can be funny when they emerge unwittingly from the action. It is not funny, for example, for a character to drink a beer that has something in it that is not beer. But it is funny in "There's Something About Mary" when the Ben Stiller character discovers he has the same substance dangling from his ear, and Cameron Diaz mistakes it for hair gel.
It is funny because the characters aren't in on the joke. They are embarrassed. We share their embarrassment and, being human, find it funny. If Stiller were to greet Diaz knowing what was on his ear, that would not be funny. Humor happens when characters are victims, not when they are perpetrators. Humor is generated not by content but by context, which is why "Big Daddy" isn't funny. It's not funny because the Adam Sandler characters knows what he is doing, and wants to be doing it.
Gongloff piles on the bad news about 2014: GDP 'grew at a 1.8% annualized pace in the first quarter ... revising down its earlier estimate of 2.4% growth ... The first quarter's dismal growth was at least better than the 0.4% GDP growth of the fourth quarter of 2012. But it was still far from healthy, and economists don't see it getting much stronger any time soon.' And that's real bad news for the markets going into 2014.
It is also reported that Chinese citizens made 1.26 billion cinema visits in 2015, a roughly 51 percent increase from a year earlier.
In 2016, fear and anger became dominant political emotions in the UK and the US — two of the most important, stable and enduring democracies.
People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are brothers and sisters, and no matter how the situation on the island evolves, the mainland is determined to maintain Cross-Strait stability.
Learn to tweet. Your boss expects it
"We have a system here in America where if something is for you and if they find it, it gets to you, that's beautiful," he told US TV station WTAE.
"We are also witnessing a positive progress of diversification," he said. "In the past, most Chinese companies' patent filings were concentrated in the ICT sector, but now there are increasingly patents filed in engines, turbines, sports, automotive, and biotechnology sectors."
The film is in the tradition of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "光明日报：让农民工不再为租房而忧伤," and all the more recent teen sex comedies. It is not inspired, but it's cheerful and hard-working and sometimes funny, and--here's the important thing--it's not mean. Its characters are sort of sweet and lovable. As I swim through the summer tide of vulgarity, I find that's what I'm looking for: Movies that at least feel affection for their characters. Raunchy is OK. Cruel is not.