I wasn’t the least bit disappointed with The Interview. I expected it to kinda suck, and I loved that it did. It is exactly what you think it is: A dopey buddy film with lots of asshole jokes. When I laughed, which I did, I laughed with a simple, stupid glee. And the fact that it WAS stupid is what makes this film even more important than it might ever have been.
You know why? Because that’s what makes this whole thing so amazing. And why watching it, and yes, paying for it, is an act of patriotism and a critical vote for freedom of expression. Because if the whole ruckus had been over some truly controversial or film, say Django or [insert WWII film here], then we’d be having a different discussion. We’d be talking about how tyrants shouldn’t be allowed to inhibit us from Making Important Art. But instead, it was Darth Vader plotting to destroy Dennis the Menace. It makes the whole thing even more absurd and completely awesome.
True freedom of expression includes the freedom to also make dumb, fun, pointless, laughable, silly, crappy, jokey shit. It’s our right. And freedom of expression and creativity should not be reserved only for the films YOU think are important or wonderful, or the artists who you think should have that right, over and above the ones you don’t approve of. Because if you DO think that, you’re essentially a fascist.
If you caught Howard Stern’s interview with Rogen and Franco, then you know that this was a funny idea Rogen had, and decided to write it up and see if it would stick. By the way, he came up with it before the whole Dennis Rodman-as-ambassador moment—which is why when Rodman started all that nonsense, it confirmed for Rogen that this was a real idea, because, yes, this shit happens.
I don’t love that we were cyber hacked and terrorized, and hate that the media did the dirty work for the North Koreans by disseminating information that wasn’t theirs to begin with. But I do love that the film earned $15 million on the web in its first four days. Millions of people have ponied up to see The Interview, and not one of them did because they think it’s an amazing film. They are doing it to gawk at it, and see what all the fuss is about. And they’ll ultimately go back to watching Homeland and forget all about it.
But the reason you should see it isn’t because it’s great, but because you can, and for a few bucks, you get to cast your vote for something very important: The freedom to create, say, and do what you want—and also to watch what other people come up with, regardless of who thinks it’s stupid, or dangerous, or both.