Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Auteur Watch - John Requa and Glenn Ficarra

Despite the worldwide internet blackout, we're still open! Reason enough to stop PIPA/SOPA... whatever it is. This is one party that shouldn't be shut down.
Well, I haven't been able to prove it yet, but I did recently see a VH1 documentary about "Weird Al" Yankovic, and one of the people talking about Al was named John Ficarra... oh, right. The blackout. I'm going to assume that, as hard as it is to get into showbiz as it is, there's a relation. The son does better than the father. Only the son of the showbiz father would be crazy enough to actually TRY to make it in showbiz. Somewhere along the way, he found a Requa to cling to. The guy must be talented... or at least, make Ficarra look good in comparison.
It all started at the tail end of the 90s, with Clinton's popularity at an all time high. We didn't even need to listen to his speeches, because we knew he was on the job, making the world at least seem like a better place. Klasky Csupo clones were everywhere thanks to the Simpsons, so why not try to write for one? The Wild Thornberries just might do. Paul Simon might even do a song for it! How cool/slightly tinged with sadness is that?
But these high profile gigs don't last forever, and something called computer animation was finally grown up and ready to really ruin the natural world. Jumanji was a mere warm-up act. How about talking dogs and screaming cats? With this surprise hit raising the boats of all the people involved in it, it was time for the next generation to take over Hollywood. Cats & Dogs director Lawrence Guterman quickly slit his throat with Son of the Mask, while Requarra cozied up to the Weinsteins, and somehow ended up with the Coens as well... they are the catalyst that cools ancient Hollywood feuds. Their project? Turning a Coen short story into the infamous anti-Christmas movie, Bad Santa. Drunk off this second surprise success, they fell into the Hollywood trap and worked on another movie with "Bad" in the title, and Billy Bob Thornton starring in the movie. The Bad News Bears reboot was birthed, and it was decidedly time to step back and take a short break. They would not be called back to do the reboots of Bad News Bears in Breaking Training or The Bad News Bears Go to Japan... come to think of it, nobody would. It was at this point when Ficarrequa said to itself, "Well, Hell! We're just as smart as the idiots who direct these pieces of sh...oe leather, why don't we?" And that they did. Big time. I Love You, Philip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love are but a taste. The best days are ahead for all of us with FicarRequa making our movies. A toast to the continued reign of Requa-carra! May it last a thousand years, sir!

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