Hey readers,

I’ve never really reviewed anything before, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t really feel all that comfortable starting.  I’ve had Sophomore Undercover out there for about a month now, and the reviews have ranged from the very complementary to the uhh…opposite of that. 

And that’s cool.  I didn’t write my book for the reviews.  Oh no.  I wrote it because I wanted to give the world the greatest gift of all.  The gift of laughter. 

Also, I get paid.  And pretty much anything that keeps me from real work is A okay with me. 

That being said, today I would like to start a new segment on the blog: The Dictionary Test. 

Let me show you how the Dictionary Test works: 

The Dictionary Test:  Would I rather watch/read/eat X or have someone hit me in the junk with a dictionary? 

It’s a pretty simple standard of measurement, but I think it works just as well as stars or thumbs up or whatever .  Let’s give it a whirl.

The Dictionary Test #1--Rachel Getting Married 

DOES NOT pass The Dictionary Test. 

And it doesn't pass The Dictionary Test by a pretty huge margin.  Like, I’d even use one of those ginormous dictionaries they keep on stands in the libraries if it meant I’d get those two hours of my life back. 

Wow.  That movie was a bummer.  I guess it looked good and everybody acted well and Anne Hathaway is hot in a pale, junky sort of way (author’s note: not too many women can pull this look off), but I’ve picked up a kernel of knowledge or two over years and I feel pretty confident saying this: any movie with a ten minute scene about loading the dishwasher is going to suck. 

Man...sorry I got so negative there.  It's just that dishwasher scene really got me fired up.  I think I need to do some push ups or something. 

4/21/2009 02:05:55 am

God, this method is so much simpler than having to explain yourself! Why have I been wasting so much time WRITING?

4/21/2009 05:07:35 am

I can skip this one then. I actually don't have time to watch many movies because I have to unload the dishwasher.
Have you ever been hit in the nads by a dictionary before, Ben? Just curious...

4/21/2009 06:12:07 am

Yes, Ben, pushups help a lot. Skip the situps though, those are dangerous. Also, I have quite a few dictionaries, in case you'd like to borrow some. And don't underestimate those small paperback Oxfords (the red ones that say Oxford across the front), those could be flinged at lightning speed towards any size junk.

4/21/2009 12:19:52 pm

It's funny, because I totally loved this movie (including the dishwasher scene!), but I made this same complaint about Gus Van Sant's Kurt Cobain movie.

Oh, excuse me, his movie that was not about Kurt Cobain at all so don't hold him liable for anything he got wrong, except it really is about Kurt Cobain because why else would you care to watch some blond dude make macaroni and cheese?

4/21/2009 03:35:18 pm

You know what it was about the dishwasher scene? The plate. The scene is going along, and I'm kind of digging the TV on the Radio guy, and then the plate appears and everybody knows it's Ethan's plate...but they still have the production designer come in and write "ETHAN" on the plate in fake little kid script (As if any of the other family members ate off a fucking blue plastic plate with a train on it). That was the moment when I was like, "Oh, thank god. For a second there, I thought the movie wasn't going to treat us all like retards. Phew. Dodged that bullet. Bring on the art-rock wedding reception."

4/22/2009 04:47:37 am

Gillian: but you do such a great job at explaining why you hate movies.

Kelly: I haven't actually been hit in the nads with a dictionary, though I've done extensive thought experiments, and I'm pretty sure I know what it would feel like. I don't know...maybe Rachel Getting Married plays better with the fairer sex. I wouldn't not watch it, is what I'm trying to say. Just for me, it was pretty rough.

Tracy: I've been meaning to ask you about your years of teaching experience, and how this pertains to you getting dictionaries thrown at your junk. There's some good material for a book in there, I believe. I mean, not a whole book, but there could definitely be some comedic moments.

Elizabeth: I heard that Kurt Cobain movie was super painful. I kinda want to watch it to give the dictionary test another test run.

And I totally respect that you liked Rachel Getting Married. That's the awesome thing about the dictionary test; it's an individual thing. Like, I really love Con Air, but that might not pass the dictionary test for you, and that's the real beauty of the thing.

Patrick: Welcome to the blog!

Good point about the Ethan plate. I guess I should have mentioned that there was some payoff for the ten minutes of dishwasher loading, but I guess I was a little too blinded with rage for that level of clearheaded thinking.

And that art-rock wedding reception. Holy shit! I still haven't sorted out all my feelings about that scene.

4/22/2009 11:51:29 pm

I think it might be a guy thing, Ben Esch. Since i dont have 'nads, i think i'll watch the movie anyway.

5/7/2009 06:01:19 am

I'm late to this conversation, but wanted to say its not a gendered thing - I <i>hated</i> this movie. Would have gotten up and walked out if I wasn't with people who were inexplicably enjoying it.

3/17/2011 10:46:08 pm

Love this movie as well as the serial. Really funny, thanks for sharing it with us.

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