Manohla Dargis is a good writer and a fine critic. The Siren wants to get that out front where it belongs. That is why the Siren was disturbed to open her New York Times this morning and read this passage in Ms. Dargis's review of Amelia:
Romance is in the air in “Amelia,” or at least in the score, which works hard to inject some emotional coloring into the proceedings. The music screams (sobs) 1940s big-screen melodramatic excess and beautiful suffering.
Alas, excesses of any pleasurable kind are absent from this exasperatingly dull production.
The Siren hasn't seen Amelia so she has no Pomeranian in that fight. Her beef is the same she expressed somewhat less forcefully here. It distresses the Siren no end to see a comparison to 1940s melodrama used as a perjorative, even when those films are faintly praised in the next sentence as pleasurably excessive.
Please, Ms. Dargis, please. Each time you do that from your perch atop 8th Avenue, you contribute to most people's notion that old black-and-white movies are fusty relics, enjoyable mostly as camp. Your excellent prose style no doubt has many other equivalents for "cheap sentiment." The Siren asks you, politely but as firmly as she knows how, to cease and desist.
This is the second offense; the Siren devoutly hopes there will not be a third. Otherwise, like Peter Lawford in Cluny Brown, "I won't relax. I'm going to write another letter to the Times."