Contrary to popular belief, we here at P.C.H.A. don’t hate children. After all, without them where would America’s Funniest Home Videos be? What we truly hate, however, is Hollywood using child characters as vessels for their pandering, manipulative instincts.
Back in October, The Dilemma addressed one of the worst recent examples of this… Billy Beane’s daughter from Moneyball. It was a good bet that she would be the most cynical character in a Best Picture nominee this year. A bet we unfortunately lost. Because, as bad as she and her horrific song were, being in her noxious presence was like a warm bath compared the scalding burn the lead character in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close gave us.
So, in order to make sure The Dilemma isn’t the only one on an F.B.I. Watch List, I decided to get some things off my chest.
Dear Tom Hanks’ Fake Son in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,
How dare you, you manipulative little fuck?
I know, I know, you lost your father in 9/11, and for that I’m culturally required to be sorry. Except, it was the best thing that ever happened to him, because he was freed from your precious, quirky, self-obsessed bonds. I’m sure as he was taking his last breath, it was the first easy breath he had in years, because he knew that he was finally free of your strangling little arms.
It’s not really your fault. You are just the lazy projection of a pretentious (is it redundant to say Jonathan Safron Foer here?) writer and the Hollywood machine of the kind of child they wish they had been. You’re a way for them to wring some tears out of a tragedy without being accused of being callous. You are a Williamsburg parent’s wet dream, and therefore the rest of America’s worst nightmare.
You wander around Manhattan rattling your tambourine to ward off the scaries. This is not adorable. It’s fucking annoying. Because you’re not really scared. It’s just a way for the movie to show you’re scared without having you break the impassive mask necessary to have you spew the pseudo-wisdom it wants to get away with spewing.
For your own good, let’s clear up a few things:
1.) You’re not nine-years-old.
Of course you aren’t. Nine-year-olds don’t say stuff like:
People aren’t like numbers. They’re more like letters. And those letters are trying to tell a story.
Maybe everybody’s looking for something.
Annoying Park Slope-based writers do. But even they have enough shame not to say them outright, or even give them to an adult to say. So, instead, they give this fortune cookie wisdom to a nine-year-old hoping that people will be blinded by their tears.
2.) You don’t have Asperger Syndrome
Instead of actually making a movie about a kid with Asperger, Extremely Loud simply suggests it, adding an illness to the list of things it’s willing to exploit. It’s just a way to justify all of your irritating behavior and half-assed wisdom, without worrying about things like characterization or believability.
3.) You’re not Jewish.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with not being Jewish (although some would disagree). But your parents are Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock… I’m sorry, but that vagina ain’t Jewish. Carry around all the Israeli-made gas masks you want… it still doesn’t make you a chosen person. However, if you weren’t Jewish, how would the movie exploit the Holocaust, joining it with 9/11 and Asperger in an unholy trinity of cynicism.
Stop trying to convince people you’re a nine-year-old Jewish kid with Asperger dealing with losing a parent on 9/11, you hateful little douchebag. You’re the projection of a money-making machine trying to figure out a way to turn a national tragedy into more popcorn sales. Fuck, a mentally-ill Adam Sandler didn’t work! How could people not go for a trapped Nicolas Cage?! A doomed Robert Pattinson is a slam-dunk… damn it! I know, let’s use a kid… I smell Oscar.
There is a bright side, though… at least you’re better than Tom Hanks’ real son from life.