Today is going to be a legendary day in the history of fierce beefs between middle-aged comedy stars and extremely advanced-age film critics.
While I can't honestly say that the prospect of going to see Zoolander 2 is any more exciting to me than attending a mandatory Chipotle anti-E. coli workshop, the 74-year-old New York Times staffer who was tasked with seeing it seems to resent it like young Hannibal Lecter resents the people who fed him his sister in a stew. In his review, critic Stephen Holden lashes out at Ben Stiller for no apparent reason, and takes him to task for existing, looking weird, and having the gall to appear on a movie screen:
Mr. Stiller is a perfect case study in male insecurity. Depending on the role, the camera angle, the costume, and the hair and makeup, Mr. Stiller, 50, swings between polarities of trollishness and desirability. In some movies, he appears dwarfish and deformed with a head that's too big for his body and empty space-alien eyes. He is of average height but looks shorter. And when bulked up, he appears hunched and musclebound. But when he fixes those baby blues on the camera and thrusts out his jaw to accentuate his cheekbones, he can pass as handsome: just barely.
The coldest bar is Holden's assertion that Stiller is "a devastatingly handsome specimen with his laser-blue eyes and prominent cheekbones," but only in Stiller's imagination.
My mom always told me that you should keep your "list of people I find very ugly" to yourself, and I've found that rule easy to follow thus far, but I guess I can't pretend to know what I would do if afforded such an illustrious platform as the section of the Times that is mostly full-page ads.
We are living in a post-"#Wizwearscoolpants" world, and no one is containing themselves for any reason anymore.
Please note: generally when the New York Times Arts section goes completely off the rails, it is for the force of good.