Pecking "The Da Vinci Code" to Death
Movie critics operate above their pay grade
May 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 40
IN THE NEWS
Has The Da Vinci Code had any good reviews?
Stodgy, grim, ponderous. Dreary, droning, dull-witted. Hammy, stilted, solemn, talky, wooden, bloated, plodding, deathly dull, dreary. Or did I do "dreary" already? Forget the Christian right—it's that shadowy global organisation, the Critical Establishment, that has lifted its cassock and dumped unceremoniously on Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code.
— Jonathan Gibbs, The Guardian (UK), May 19, 2006
At a direct marketing conference in Orlando I was having lunch with my Norwegian clients and Chicago headhuntress Suzy Ridenour, who mentioned that she was reading a new book called "The Da Vinci Code" and was loving it.
I bought it at the Orlando airport, and from the first paragraph to the end I was absolutely entranced.
"Holy Sepulchre!" was a May 19, 2006 headline by Wall Street Journal deputy editor, Daniel Henninger. "60 Million Buy The Da Vinci Code," the subhead read. This figure represents worldwide sales in 44 languages so far.
An awful lot of people not only loved the book but also—in an orgy of viral marketing—recommended it to their families, friends, neighbors and business colleagues.
The newly-released film starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou and Sir Ian McKellen and directed by Ron Howard has gotten its nose bloodied by a legion of movie critics.
My wife, Peggy, and I have not seen the film (we certainly will—and soon), but what is astonishing is that many of these writers in the course of their dumping on the movie—no doubt jealous of author Dan Brown's success—take roundhouse swipes at the original book and Brown's prose.
Are movie wonks qualified to be book critics?
Let's talk about bad prose.
Those that can, do. Those that can't become film critics.
- Audrey Tatou
- Da Vinci
- Daniel Fienberg
- Daniel Henninger
- David Edelstein
- David Faraci
- Edward Dougless
- Erik Childress
- Gregory J. Sullivan
- Ian McKellen
- Jack Maxson
- Jay Gosselin
- Jonathan Gibbs
- Merissa Marr
- Michael Elliott
- Nancy Kerrigan
- Ron Howard
- Suzy Ridenour
- Terrible Prose Ed Zuckerman
- The News
- Todd McCarthy
- Tom Hanks
- Variety Dan Brown