Letters for May 16, 2002

‘Nitty, gritty & witty’ film talk
Re “Yoda, Spidey and Scooby-Doo” [RN&R, May 2]:

Bob Grimm has done it again! He has catapulted my otherwise mundane Friday into a laugh-out-loud extravaganza. His unabashed movie reviews are always hilarious but the summer movie preview was a masterpiece.

I know Bob takes a lot of heat from the staunch, butt-clenched, uptight McGeneral Public looking for a typical, paint-by-numbers movie review, but Bob always scores big with my slightly askew and sometimes cynical sense of humor. His nitty, gritty and witty insights into Hollywood’s most- abysmal output of so-called entertainment are priceless. Hey, we all can’t agree on a simple cup of coffee, so why get huffed out when you don’t feel all swarmy with Bob’s always original movie critiques.

As for myself, I look forward to every issue with Bob’s ultimate chew ’em up and spit ’em out style because we all need a little humor to go with our backlot stand-in roles.

Marc Bourriague
Tahoma, Calif.

Get over Woody, Puritan Bob
Re “Yoda, Spidey and Scooby- Doo” [RN&R, May 2]:

I’m disturbed and saddened to see Bob Grimm once again dig up the old slam against Woody Allen with the sentence, “I’m still waiting for Allen’s film about a horny 60-year-old guy trying to date everybody’s daughter, titled I’m a Perverted Scumbag of a Human Being Who Betrayed Mia Farrow Yet Somehow is Still Beloved by the Hollywood Community, So Go Figure.”

I politely suggest that Bob Grimm needs to get over this ancient history.

The betrayal mentioned, of course, is that the young woman for whom Woody fell, Soon-Yi Previn, was Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter. So his betrayal of Mia Farrow is of a sort by which most people can never imagine being confronted. It’s a bit beyond betraying your wife with her best friend, or your girlfriend with her sister—both of which happen every day in every neighborhood in every city in the world. Who hasn’t been betrayed by a lover? No, the real complexity of the betrayal lies in those magic words, “adopted daughter.”

The gist of the popular sentiment against Woody is that somehow he’s guilty of incest. A logical and calm examination of the facts shows right off the bat that this isn’t so, but the American tendency toward Puritanism goes out of control when confronted with a case like this. So everyone freaked out and thought Woody was a perv. This is a surprise? It’s exactly who he revealed himself to be through his films during the last 35 years: the neurotic, self-abasing, yet narcissistic schlub who is attracted to young women and nubile teenage girls.

(As an aside … well, obviously ol’ Woody’s not alone in being attracted to young women. Otherwise, why would porn magazines and videos such as Hustler’s Barely Legal be such big sellers off the rack at Tower Records? There are lots of “perverted scumbags” out there. Most of them just have the extreme common sense not to have revealed it to the fickle public. When Woody was just cracking jokes about it, people laughed. Funny how before the Soon-Yi media frenzy, this was OK with people.)

However, Soon-Yi was not underage when the scandal broke. The famous nude Polaroids of Soon-Yi that Mia Farrow found at Woody’s townhouse had been snapped when Soon-Yi was 19 years old. She was not a blood relation to either Mia Farrow or Woody Allen, and she was an adult when the only proof of their affair surfaced. By any definition of the term, this was not incest or pedophilia. This was a 19-year-old woman having an affair with a man in his mid-50s. Like that never happens.

Woody Allen weathered the storm with dignity and stayed with Soon-Yi, with whom he’d truly fallen in love. Through several very difficult years in the media spotlight, they stayed true to one another. In 1997, they married. They’ve been together for quite a long time. They’ve adopted two children. Soon-Yi seems to have no problem with this concept, and it’s likely that she knows Woody Allen better than anyone. At this point it seems the rational thing to do would be to let them live in peace and let time tell if there are any further complications to their story.

Bob Grimm’s puritanical decade-old knee-jerk reaction to the Woody/Soon-Yi/Mia triangle needs to be left out of his reviews and articles. The joke’s not funny. It has nothing to do with Allen the director or writer, and the issue is now 10 years in the past. Please, just let it go.

Benjamin Adams