Original Quote, in Context: “Lawrence Kasdan’s heartfelt ensemble drama ‘Darling Companion’ is heartbreakingly limp…Characters played by Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Mark Duplass, and Ayelet Zurer (as a housekeeper with, gulp, second sight) bicker and bond in the course of the search. But if you can stay awake, you’ll see a performance by Keaton that is radiant in its simplicity, all ditheriness shaken off.”
Why It’s Weird: Because David Edelstein is far too good a writer to produce a sentence that clunky. “A performance by Diane Keaton that is radiant?” Why not “A radiant performance by Diane Keaton” or “Diane Keaton gives a radiant performance?” The nagging feeling that something was being taken out of context sent me back to the original review and, sure enough, that line is just a fragment of a larger sentence — and really it’s the only positive fragment in a very negative review. In fairness, the ad could have quoted Edelstein more accurately but “Heartbreakingly limp!” isn’t exactly the sort of radiant line that puts butts in theater seats.
This has been another installment of Weird Pull Quote Theater!