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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Two Movies That I Walked Out On, After Paying Good Money To See Them.

I almost never pay good money to see any movie.
At the movies, or pay-per-view at home.
Of course, I exclude Netflix and pay cable, like HBO and Showtime.
But Netflix, I have mainly so I can binge-watch TV series I never saw first time around.
And HBO and Showtime, I mainly have for the boxing.
The movies I see there I consider a bonus.
I binge-watch movies in the fall and winter, when the studios send me DVDs.
Or if I'm in L.A. and there are free Guild screenings.
But on rare occasions, I will actually stroll up to the box office, take out a wad of cash, and plunk it down to see a movie.
It's usually a Woody Allen movie, which won't last in my area for more than a week, or there is someone in it whose work I particularly admire, and just don't feel like waiting for DVDs or HBO.
There were two movies in this category that I plunked down the hard cash for.
I went to one of them because the stars were Martin Short and Charles Grodin.
I'd always been a major fan of Martin Short.
I'd always felt he could do no wrong.
And I'd been a sucker for Grodin since "The Heartbreak Kid" and "Midnight Run"
So I thought "Great combination! Can't miss!"
So I loosened my wallet, parted with the dough, and took my seat.
The movie was called "Clifford".
Short played this unctuous child-man, or man-child, or child, I was never sure which.
And Grodin was his adult mentor, of sorts.
And the entire movie, at least what I saw of it, was Short being actively unctuous, constantly annoying Grodin, and Grodin either being patient with him, or losing his patience with him.
It didn't take that long for me to lose my patience with the whole thing.
And there is always that moment when you know it's not going to get any better.
So I abandoned ship midway through,, and simply considered it money wasted.

The other experience along these lines involved someone else whose movies I always enjoyed.
Rodney Dangerfield.
I'd seen his entire output and had never been disappointed.
Until I saw, or at least half-saw, "Meet Wally Sparks"
There was nothing particularly wrong with the story.
He played a politician running for office, managing to offend everyone he met.
Not necessarily a bad idea.
The problem was the execution.
Every one out of two lines of dialogue was a setup for a "dick" joke.
And every other of the two lines of dialogue was the punchline for a "dick" joke.
Now, I like a good dick joke as well as the next fellow.
But the repetitive nature of the dick jokes in this picture was unprecedented.
Rodney totally gilded the lily.
And about halfway through this one, I realized I was on the Dick Joke Express.
And I had to hurl myself on to the tracks.
Left to his own devices, Rodney had no taste.
And he was definitely left to his own devices.
I should have learned from Martin Short and Charles Grodin:
Stay in your house.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:"



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."