Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Parks & Recreation" review

"Parks & Recreation" isn't a remake of "The Office"--it's a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1951 classic drama "Ikiru." I don't have inside knowledge--I've just seen most of the classic movies. "Ikiru" wasn't a comedy--in it, the midlevel bureaucrat Amy Poehler plays discovers he has 6 months to live--but the plot of trying to build a little park against all odds, in general and in detail--that comes straight from "Ikiru." I'm a little dismayed none of the reviewers thus far have noticed this. It's not like "Ikiru" is an obscure film to film buffs, many of whom consider Kurosawa to be the greatest movie director of all time.

Doesn't mean "Parks & Recreation" is destined for greatness. Depends on execution. And a lot of the humor is pretty broad. But it may get there. Steal from the best, I say.

Actor to look for while Amy Poehler is cheerfully mugging her way through her scenes is her smarter sidekick, played by Rashida Jones, the anti-Jim Carrey of comedy. Understated, subtle. Great work.

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