Chris Rock: ‘Grown Ups’ is a Better Movie Than ‘The Artist’
Chris Rock is no stranger to controversy. But for all of his potentially controversial comments over the years, it’s this one that gives us the most pause. The comedian said he believes two of his recent films – ‘Grown Ups’ with Adam Sandler and ‘Madagascar 3‘ – are better than last year’s Best Picture winner ‘The Artist.’
Rock, who is currently filming ‘Grown Ups 2,’ spoke to the New York Times and when asked about finding the right balance between good movies and fun movies to star in, he explained that he thinks his recent movies are both.
I don’t care what the critics say. Who won the Academy Award this year? ‘The Artist’? Hey, ‘The Artist’ was great. ‘Grown Ups’ is better than ‘The Artist,’ and it’s better than ‘The Artist’ ’cause the audience says so. No film critic’s going to say it, but ‘Madagascar 3′ is better than ‘The Artist,’ and it’s better because it makes people feel better. That’s ultimately what it boils down to.
Huh. A lot to digest in that statement. But let’s start with the obvious: is ‘Grown Ups’ actually a better film than ‘The Artist’? This is, of course, subjective but even in the most subjective of audiences would have to agree that ‘Grown Ups’ is not a very good movie, a movie currently rated 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. And we’re not saying ‘The Artist’ is a great movie (although Rock does say that) – it probably should not have even won Best Picture – but it’s likely better than the movie where Adam Sandler and Kevin James pee in a pool. (And we’re of the opinion that the disparity between ‘Madagascar 3′ and ‘The Artist’ probably isn’t as wide as most people would think.)
The next point Rock brings up is that if an audience likes a movie, if a movie makes you feel better – that’s the true barometer of what makes a movie great. There are probably a horde of film critics who would disagree with that statement as there are plenty of films that do well financially but are otherwise hated by critics (see: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or the ‘Transformers’ movies).
Rock’s comments would seem to diminish the role of thoughtful or complex films who’s goal isn’t just to make you feel good.
So we’re curious as to what you think. Do you think ‘Grown Ups’ can be considered a better movie than ‘The Artist’? Do you find yourself trusting the word of audiences over professional film critics? And what really makes a “great” movie?