This is key: PGMs almost always feature a protagonist who commits acts so reprehensible that, were these acts to be committed by someone less gruff-but-lovable, say, Ewan McGregor, or Christian Bale, or your next-door neighbor, you'd want to scold him, sue him, or kick him in the balls. Think back to Giamatti stealing money from his own mother in Sideways. That bastard! That poor bastard! See? Somehow you feel sorry for him.
Whether he be sad sack, underdog, or everyman, both the greatest signifier and strength of the Paul Giamatti Movie has got to be the flawed, sympathetic hero. He doesn't want to take over the world. He just wants his due. And even though he often goes about it the wrong way, it's easy to root for that guy because, well, so do we.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Neil Drumming coins a new phrase: the Paul Giamatti joint (PGJ, or, a variant, the Paul Giamatti Movie - PGM).