February 2, 2003
Let me introduce myself. I am your movie and theater reviewer. I do not think that film is the most important thing in life. I’m neither highbrow nor artsy. Just because smarter people like a movie doesn’t mean I will. You don’t get brownie points with me because your breakout film in the 80’s was a smash. I judge what’s in front of me not the director’s entire film history. That’s a job for a critic whereas I am a reviewer. The difference is that I am just one woman with an untrained opinion. Consider me your average Josephine who likes to spend her hard earned dough on something (dare I say it?) entertaining.
I never use ten words when five will do. I am funny and quotable. I am not trying to become an Emmy Award winning critic. I am trying to let readers navigate the glut of choices to find something they like. I will never suggest you sit next to strangers in a cramped, dirty theatre without a payoff. I will never do unto you what critics have done unto me.
I don’t like critics. I find it hard to follow critics. Critics follow other critics. I find it hard to read an entire review. Critics like to give away the plot line. Critics like stuff the average Josephine would prefer to sleep through.
So what is my definition of average? I am a NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate with a background producing news for some of the world’s top networks. I have been on the air at CNNfn. I danced in “Saturday Night Fever”. I’ve produced a documentary for HBO. I am a member of the Writers Guild and vote for Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay annually. I’ve been a member of SAG, EQUITY and AFTRA. I attend screenings.
As for other credentials, I watch TV. I read books and subscribe to dozens of magazines. I am your average over-achieving New Yorker busy working days and managing a nightlife. Trying to fit a movie or a play into all of that can be challenging. So when I do, I don’t want it to be a waste of time. In fact, I am a little tired of it often being a waste of time.
I hope you like my refreshingly brief reviews. Maybe you won’t always agree with me. But within one line of any review you will know where I stand and whether you stand with me. I promise not to insult your intelligence, waste your time, or recommend stuff that is marginal. If I can’t be your new best friend then at least when it comes to dinner and a movie this Saturday night you will think of me fondly.
Lisa Yapp “Yapp Around Town”