Not to seem like a jerk, but…

… what’s going on with this review, courtesy of the other student newspaper, of the newly released and Drew Barrymore-directed Whip It? I’m particularly curious about the following remark:

It’s a risky thing for an actor to take a turn behind the camera. Sometimes it works, as it did for Mel Gibson in “Braveheart,” or for Clint Eastwood in “Million Dollar Baby.” But other times… it can be bad. We’ve learned even the best of actors can bomb while directing, as George Clooney with “Leatherheads” or as Danny DeVito did with “Duplex.”

Nevermind the fact that Eastwood has directed 30+ films in his career, and Gibson is, at this point, almost certainly known more for the films he’s directed (as well as for his off-screen persona) than for the films he’s starred in. Moreover, this entire paragraph is a manifestation of exactly the sort of unthoughtful judgment I’ve been trying to combat in my own writing. Not only are actors supposedly at an inherent disadvantage when they “step behind the camera”: more often than not, the work they produce is “bad” by virtue of its intrinsic “bomb”-y-ness.

Later in the review, the writer, Sara Pierce, picks up from where she left off in the intro paragraph:

A simple yet euphoric film, “Whip It!” is a continuous crowd-pleaser and an overall success. Hopefully the next actor attempting to add “director” to his or her résumé can climb as high as Barrymore.

We can only hope.

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