Though relatively limited, the pantheon of New York Times reporters committed to film and TV has included such memorable characters as Sam Waterston’s Sydney Schanberg in 1984’s The Killing Fields and Matt Borner‘s Felix Turner in this year’s HBO drama The Normal Heart.
Another NYT movie reporter is about to hit the big screen, via Chris Rock‘s Top Five. But according to Grantland’s Wesley Morris, this newsroom derivation is memorable for entirely different reasons:
Rock stars as Andre Allen, a recovering alcoholic and comedy star being trailed by the least-likely-ever culture reporter for The New York Times. It’s not that she’s played by Rosario Dawson. It’s that the plot twist around her character doesn’t make ethical sense. Together, they visit his New York universe and hers (she’s in recovery, too)…
A lot of what’s onscreen had me rolling my eyes. Dawson is as suspect a reporter as Rock is a dramatic actor. But Rock’s wild-eyed, machete-wielding image in the fictional [drama] film’s poster means the movie, at least, knows Uprize! is a joke. There’s so much here that’s so good and so funny that you can feel Rock struggling with how to give it some shape. The object of some of his satire is Tyler Perry and the generally woeful state of black entertainment.
Morris is to be commended for not spoiling, in his Toronto Film Festival dispatch, the details of that questionable plot twist. Many critics would have. Paramount Pictures has quickly picked up worldwide rights for Rock’s latest directorial effort, one of the first productions of Barry Diller and Scott Rudin‘s IAC Films. So we will all soon be able to evaluate the merits of Dawson’s Chelsea Brown.