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Twelve Reasons I Hate Neil LaBute

1. For his conviction that he had the right temperament to succeed in his adaptation of Possession, a brilliant novel now stinking up a Multiplex near you: “I loved the parallel stories … really all the things that were in the book interested me. I was in academia. I’ve been an anglophile for a long time. I have always written about relationships and here were two relationships that were very different. So all the elements spoke to me, it just seemed like a natural fit.” (From the IndieWire interview.)

2. In the Company of Men.

3. Your Friends and Neighbors. (Need I elaborate?)

4. For saying the following about Your Friends and Neighbors: “I think of the movie as a comedy in many ways. I think there are quite a few laughs in the movie. As you’re sitting there watching it, you may think about something beyond that, and feel that it’s got some teeth to it, but I do think it has some bite. But it’s still a comedy.” (From the Onion A/V Club interview.)

5. For making it impossible for me ever to like Ben Stiller again.

6. For joking, with regard to In the Company of Men, that “I was trying to make a feel-good summer hit (laughs).” (From the first Salon interview.)

7. For single-handedly creating the career of Aaron Eckhart.

8. For my sneaking sense that he would enjoy the fact that I hate these movies so much.

9. For being a real bonehead about the reaction to his movies: “At [In the Company of Men‘s] Sundance debut, an audience already on edge over the uncomfortable ending threw its first question at the writer/director: Why is the movie’s victim a deaf woman? ‘And I just, kinda offhanded, said, “Because I always thought deaf people were funny,”‘ recalls LaBute, who, of course, instantly acquired a rep for insensitivity. ‘For a long time, that label stuck — the film’s still called misogynist.'” (From the Dallas Observer.)

10. For having an insufficient number of rotten tomatoes hurled at him.

11. For this assessment of the horrors of 9/11: “I wrote about a sort of flash point I had, where I was standing in line, four days later, in Union Station in Chicago, lugging my bags around trying to get on this train and half-hoping there was a first-class line that I could get in to, and sort of realizing, you know, that we’re back to basics, everybody was just sort of fighting for space. And I had this moment of thinking, ugh, I really don’t like this, it’s really inconvenient what happened. It’s really sad, of course. But it’s rather inconvenient today. ” (From the second Salon interview.)

12. For the thought, the very thought, that he might be involved in the film version of Angels in America.


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