Movie Article

'Jules' of Denial

What made an EW film critic call himself a dweeb? And what the most overrated film had to do with Owen Gleiberman's self proclamation

Henri Serre, Oskar Werner, ... | LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP Gleiberman loves to hate the movie ''Jules and Jim'' starring Oskar Werner and Henri Serre
Image credit: Jules and Jim: Everett Collection
LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP Gleiberman loves to hate the movie ''Jules and Jim'' starring Oskar Werner and Henri Serre

What made an EW film critic call himself a dweeb?

In your opinion, what is the most overrated film that is universally regarded as a masterpiece? --Charles
Hey, thanks a lot! You've posed a question that is all but guaranteed to make me look like the dweeb who trashes Fellini in the ''Annie Hall'' movie line. But here goes. The timeless classic that I absolutely cannot abide, even after half a dozen tries, is Francois Truffaut's ''Jules and Jim.'' Twee, precious, airless, and ''literary'' to a fault, it's a movie that coasts on aura more than any I can name -- a love triangle that might have been designed for beatniks on the make.

When you're reviewing a movie based on a book, do you read the book first? --Cathy
Sacrilegious as it may sound, I go out of my way not to read the book first. Often, I'll read it after I see the movie (for example, I read ''Angela's Ashes''; I confess that I skipped ''The Sum of All Fears''), but the real upshot, to me, is that the movie itself must stand on its own, pure and simple.

Send questions to askthecritic@ew.com, or post them below.

Originally posted Aug 15, 2003 Published in issue #723 Aug 15, 2003 Order article reprints
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