After putting us in stitches with Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson took some time off to get serious with The Master. However, after a brief foray into drama, the lauded director is looking to get back to his bread and butter: slapstick.
Of course, the above paragraph is largely a lie; Paul Thomas Anderson has never broken away from grave, grave, grave drama, but he did express a couple curious sentiments to Moviehole last week. Here’s what he said:
“I’d like to make a film like Airplane!. That never gets old. Or Ted. It was a big hit. Why? Because it’s great. Movies that are that big a hit are never fucking bad.”
First of all, “a film like Airplane!” can get really old, as evidenced by Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Airplane! II, The Naked Gun sequels, and countless others. Secondly, very popular films are almost always total shit, and no one should know that and feel that more than an acclaimed director whose last film made $16 million in the United States.
I believe P.T. Anderson could kill at comedy, but I’m not sure slapstick is the way to go, and if he really believes that quote above, maybe he should just stick to his element.