I love Richard Ayoade. I thought he was great in The IT Crowd, I love seeing him on panel shows (particularly alongside Noel Fielding) and I thought Submarine was awesome. Oh, and I flipping love Travel Man. But I’m not a fan of some of his earlier work, particularly Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place and AD/BC: A Rock Opera. His humour is a bit eclectic and can be quite marmite-ish. I found his latest book, Richard Ayoade presents The Grip of Film by Gordy LaSure* to be more reminiscent of his earlier comedy.
The Grip of Film is a piss-take of the A-Z of film books written by and about masters of cinema. For this book, Ayoade has created a character, Gordy LaSure, a guy obsessed with the rules regarding what makes a great movie. Movie being the operative word: “A movie is a film people want to watch”. Except the only films Gordy wants to watch are Road House and View From the Top.
Gordy shares his love of Steven Segal’s ponytail and Tom Selleck’s moustache, and his disdain for British films and Citizen Kane. And films featuring ugly people. The frustrating thing is that Ayoade obviously knows his stuff, as a filmmaker himself, name dropping film geek terms like Italian Neorealism and McGuffins. I’d actually be more interested to read something a bit more ‘serious’ but with Ayoade’s trademark off-beat sense of humour.
I get that it’s a satire but I just didn’t find it funny. LaSure is homophobic, racist and sexist and I simply don’t find him to be an entertaining narrator. That’s not to say that other readers wouldn’t get something out of it, particularly those who prefer Ayoade’s earlier comedy and who love to watch anything starring Steven Seagal.
The cover is pretty damn sexy though.
*I was sent a copy of The Grip of Film for review purposes and all thoughts are my own.
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