Hot Tub Time Machine is a movie with the courage to ask, “Man, what happened to us?” and to answer, “Oh, that’s right: We came of age as acid-washed coke fiends during a time of Reaganomics, heavy pastels and Poison concerts—not to mention more than a few grody assembly line abominations at the multiplex.”
Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid illustrated book series is an exception to our culture’s relentless trolling of high school. A graphic novel in training wheels, Diary of a Wimpy Kid suggests Ghost World or Howl for tweens—minus the nihilism. The Wimpy Kid series is an affirmation that degradation and quests for self-identity also consume those not yet able to grow facial hair or wriggle out from beneath their mama’s thumb.
It’s so frustrating to know that Roman Polanski makes great movies—at least in part because he’s such a creep. But so it goes, and here is The Ghost Writer: a classic-seeming new thriller with the recriminative gall to be an inside joke about how we’ve let the real world turn into something like a Roman Polanski movie.