The question is, why are some kinds of flaws sort of endearing, or at least endurable, and other flaws are the deal-breakers? For instance, I will never go to a movie again (the kind of remark destined to be contradicted within weeks, no doubt) in which stuff explodes in great sheets of flame while someone walks away from the conflagration in slow motion. Extra points off if there's loud cinematic music swelling.
I'm sure that I could probably systematize this--figure out what makes certain flaws bearable, even charming, and others annoying or even infuriating. In this case, I'm prepared to like Cameron Crowe's films (although, sadly, not Vanilla Sky), because I loved Say Anything, and I loved Almost Famous even more. (Side note: the kid in Almost Famous, aka Cameron Crowe, could practically have been me--CC was in high school at the same time as me, in a SoCal high school. My kids even think that the kid, whom they now refer to as "Almost Famous," looks like I did in HS. If you look at the correct HS picture, they're right--I think we even had the same hair cut.) So I'll allow all the flaws of Elizabethtown because Almost Famous went to my high school? --or something like that.
A short list of people whose flaws I am prepared to indulge--for now, at least:
- Wes Anderson's, whose The Life Aquatic may be deeply flawed, but stuff made me laugh in it, anyhow, especially upon the second viewing;
- Bill Murray's, whose range may in fact be limited, as critics charge, but whose melancholy gets me more than anybody's;
- Joni Mitchell's, who may have turned into the biggest crank in all of popular music, but she is, after all, Joni;
- Don DeLillo's, because of Underworld;
- Anne Carson's--actually, what other people see as her flaws, I see as her virtues.