The Mysteries of ShitsburghPosted: July 13, 2011
Ugh, what a horrid trailer.
I distinctly remember the moment I decided I didn’t like Sienna Miller. She called Pittsburgh ‘Shitsburgh’ and subsequently created a minor shit storm. Her comment made the rounds on every local newstation, reaching a fever pitch, when a seemingly venerable reporter asked Sarah Jessica Parker on her trip to the city, what she thought of Pittsburgh in light of Miller’s comments. Insecurity is a trait I find repugnant and boy, did the hullaballoo over that comment make Pittsburgh sound so insecure. And I blame silly Sienna Miler for that.
In addition to Sienna Miller’s presence in the film (which can only bring a movie down in my humble opinion) it’s also clear that the screenwriter, Rawson Michael Thurber, decided to do some major tweaking to the novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, upon which this awful movie is based. Jane, the character Sienna plays, is not nearly as significant as Phlox (Mena Suvari in the trailer) and WHERE THE HELL IS ARTHUR LECOMTE? You know, Arthur, the first major character we meet besides the protagonist himself, Art Bechstein? The Arthur that turns the protagonist’s sexuality upside down? How can Thurber refuse to include that in the movie? Why succumb to one of the biggest cliches in all Hollywood, two guys who like the same manic pixie girl? Especially when Chabon’s depiction of homosexuality was so compelling–real, open and vibrant, not repressed like a Tennessee Williams play.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is just a good book, period, full of idiosyncratic characters. The ending is a bit of a let down, but it’s still good stuff and enduring. All the Michael Chabon hype is well-deserved.
Too bad the movie looks like crap.