Alan Zweibel once wrote a novella called “North”. His friend, movie director Rob Reiner, loved it so much, he made it into a movie starring Bruce Willis and Scarlett Johansen.
Roger Ebert then wrote that he, “…hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it.”
Alan has written a piece for “The New Yorker” where he talks about dealing with such harsh criticism.
To be fair, this was not the only negative review that the film received. There were a number of them. O.K., I’m lying. There was a veritable avalanche of them. But because it was written by Roger Ebert, this was the one that everyone on the planet read.
To me, by friends who called to express their sympathies: “It’s like Ebert stuck two thumbs up your ass and then had a tug of war with himself.”
To Robin, who came home from the neighborhood supermarket we’d been shopping at for years and said, “I’m wondering if maybe we should order in for awhile.”
To our son Adam, who, when he grew tired of defending his dad to his L.A. classmates, asked if I’d be offended if he changed his last name to Sorkin.
To say the least, the review was embarrassing.
He later tells about running into Ebert years later. What happens next is a first awkward, and then gracious.