Judd Apatow’s upcoming summer comedy, Knocked Up, was easily one of the big narrative hits at SXSW 2007. Audiences (including some critics) totally loved it, and the screening went over bigger and rowdier than many comedies that have played the Paramount Theater… ever! But, will all this goodwill and love for the film work against it? Certainly not. Everyone who sees the film, agrees it’s bound to be a comedy classic. But that hasn’t stopped Apatow from an amusing entry in his MTV.com column, where he ruminates on his history with criticism, both positive and negative. Here’s an excerpt from his writing:
This has been an odd week because “Knocked Up” premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, and has been getting fantastic reviews. Reviews that make me think that a painful backlash is inevitable. I feel like starting the backlash, just to get it over with. It makes me want to examine my entire relationship with criticism.
Throughout my career I’ve gotten good reviews and bad reviews. I have gotten reviews that are so bad a weaker man would never get up off the canvas after reading them. I recently saw Maya Angelou on the TV show “Iconoclast” on the Sundance Channel telling Dave Chappelle that when it comes to what people in the press say, her theory is “don’t pick it up, don’t put it down.” I think her point is that you shouldn’t believe them when they’re good and you shouldn’t believe them when they’re bad.
I have a different theory: I like to pick it up and never put it down. I like to put my name in the Google news and blog alerts and receive every single thing written about me and my work on the Internet. Then I can go home and stew on all of it, feeling both good and ashamed in quick succession.