The Da Vinci Crud

by J.D. Roth

You gotta love Anthony Lane. The man is a comic genius. Check out his review of the The Da Vinci Code — both the film and the book — a review so deliciously scathing that I had to read it twice. And laughed at the same jokes each time.

How timid — how undefended in their powers of reason — must people be in order to yield to such preening? Are they reading “The Da Vinci Code” because everybody on the subway is doing the same, and, if so, why, when they reach their stop, do they not realize their mistake and leave it on the seat, to be gathered up by the next sucker? Despite repeated attempts, I have never managed to crawl past page 100. As I sat down to watch “The Da Vinci Code,” therefore, I was in the lonely, if enviable, position of not actually knowing what happens.

Oh, goodness.

I’ve tried to start The Da Vinci Code, too, but can’t make it past the first couple pages. They’re awful. Kris read it and pronounced it rubbish. It’s a shame that poorly-written stuff like this makes a gajillion dollars while better-written stuff languishes unread.


What else does Lane have to say? Well, let’s see:

Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, except at Columbia Pictures, where the power lunches won’t even be half-started. The Catholic Church has nothing to fear from this film. It is not just tripe. It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith. Meanwhile, art historians can sleep easy once more, while fans of the book, which has finally been exposed for the pompous fraud that it is, will be shaken from their trance. In fact, the sole beneficiaries of the entire fiasco will be members of Opus Dei, some of whom practice mortification of the flesh. From now on, such penance will be simple—no lashings, no spiked cuff around the thigh. Just the price of a movie ticket, and two and a half hours of pain.

The Da Vinci Code: 23% at Rotten Tomatoes (11% from big-name critics) — that’s worse than RV or The Shaggy Dog.

Anyone surprised?

Updated: 25 May 2006

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