Freebies Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

ArrayI’ve tried a few times to be a blurb writer for movie ads, but I just don’t have the bon mots in me, I guess.

For Swordfish I wrote: “Swordfish is not at all stinky like the breath of a person who has just eaten too much Chicken of the Sea albacore tuna!”

Then for Angel Eyes I penned: “You’d have to have glaucoma not to SEE the People’s Choice Award-caliber performance of J.Lo!”

I thought these were catchy examples of blurb-writing, but when I tried to pitch them to studios, the marketing people just hung up on me. Why is everyone in L.A. so rude, I ask you?

Yet, in spite of the studios’ cruelty to me, imagine my dismay upon learning that a class-action lawsuit had been filed against them (majors Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony, Universal, Fox and DreamWorks—even indies Artisan and Lions Gate), claiming they tricked the public with movie ads containing fake critical blurbs from nonreputable film critics who’d been pampered at lavish press junkets.

The lawsuit-bringers call themselves Citizens for Truth in Movie Advertising. I call them Citizens Who Need to Go Volunteer at Their Local Bookmobile Instead of Wasting Their Time Harassing Hardworking Junket Press. You think the studios are gonna suffer as a result of this? No, it’ll be some poor dude from the DISH Network.

I immediately called my favorite junketeer, blurb craftsperson and newest best friend, Maria Salas* of Gems TV, to see what she thought of all the negative attention she and her ilk have been getting lately—and, more pressingly, to find out what she planned to wear on the stand to talk about the people who paid for all her hotel rooms on all those junkets.

“You know, Dave, honey,” she began, putting down the latest issue of Film Comment just to talk to me, “I think this lawsuit will be the WHITE-KNUCKLE THRILL RIDE OF THE SUMMER!” (See how that Maria can turn a phrase? On a dime. How I envy her skill.)

“Does it really matter if a studio bought my bichon frise a lifetime supply of Snausages in return for saying how much I’D ROLL OVER AND BEG to see Cats & Dogs AGAIN AND AGAIN, Dave? I’d give that movie TWO PAWS UP even if I hadn’t received such a generous gift!”

Now do you see how gifted this woman is? Why shouldn’t studios come to her for their ad copy? Who can fault her? Not me, that’s who.

“As for my scales-of-justice ensemble, Dave, you’ll just have to wait and see me on Court TV for that, but think Julia Roberts and the simple, sophisticated separates she wears in the upcoming America’s Sweethearts, a movie that will make you want to celebrate VALENTINE’S DAY IN JULY!”

I can’t wait to see her testify.





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