My dad told me a story over the holidays about his first job in New York, after he moved there from Poland. He couldn’t speak English, but his apartment manager hired him to do some maintenance work, which included sweeping the sidewalk outside.
Dad was proud of his work. My mother loved him before they moved to New York, but I think I know what she saw in him. He would sweep the sidewalk and be proud of the fact it was the best looking sidewalk on the street.
I could imagine it: It’s the early 80’s. The lower east side, New York City. Dad sweeps the sidewalk, clearing the detritus out. Getting rid of all those cigarette butts, broken beer bottles, and used syringes. A guy gets shot down on his sidewalk, he cleans up the dried blood the next day. A guy crashes his station wagon into the nearest light pole. Dad sweeps up the glass and metal pieces.
It is the story of an immigrant who is proud of his work, no matter how trivial it seems.
It’s one of the most important things I’ve learned from my dad.
Making the third installment of Meet The Parents isn’t exactly the equivalent of sweeping a dirty sidewalk in the lower east side of New York in the 80’s. With all the millions of dollars involved, there’s more at stake. But I think it’s understood this is not the most coveted job for a filmmaker.
And they made it as if that was the understanding. They didn’t go out there and commit to a solid effort. Everyone – from the director, down to the actor, was just phoning it in like it didn’t matter.
Doesn’t matter to who? The people who pay money to see movies and want to enjoy themselves. They don’t want to sit through the kind of garbage that gets pegged as “family entertainment”. It’s an unwise, contemptible practice to disguise a film that’s supposed to be funny and enjoyable, and then make it suck balls.
Director Paul Weitz has struck out in the business of making movies far more than he’s made any hits. “American Pie” was his debut film, which brought him longevity that he would then use to make lazy films. He is a lazy filmmaker who deserves no other opportunity for success. Someone should have fired his ass after “About a Boy” and told him not to come back.
Mr. Weitz is the kind of person (yes, I’m going after his character) who will not do a good job sweeping the sidewalk. It’s not important enough to him.
“Little Fockers” felt like it was unimportant. When the top man feels that, it trickles down to everybody and it affects the entire production.
People who want to hire Mr. Weitz for any future endeavors should consider this. Personally I’ll be watching his name carefully and avoid everything he touches from this point forward.
What a disgrace.