Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

LETTERS / FALLING DOWN : Proposition 13 Didn't Cause the Troubles in L.A.

March 22, 1993

I have just returned from a matinee of "Falling Down," the first hit comedy of 1993.

Yes, according to my Century City audience, this grim feature starring Michael Douglas is a comedy. Douglas demanding that a Korean store owner speak proper English? Hilarious. A man in traffic gridlock screaming at a timid, elderly woman? I could barely hear the dialogue over the guffaws. A war--mongering racist berating two "faggots"? My audience couldn't get enough.

I wouldn't want to reveal any more of the plot, but, rest assured, our hero/ticking time bomb confronts most of this city's darker side, and each time it is very, very funny. Why would this bleak picture cause such joy?

To an audience of Westside "haves," "Falling Down" plays like "Action News" with actors. Lacking any clue that the film's malaise actually exists, they never see the truth and sandness behind the vitriol. To my audience, this film is fantasy, taking place in a world as foreign and irelevant as "Howards End." People say the darndest things in East L.A. (where is that again?), and a lot of them happen to be pretty funny.

Of course, even to these folks, the film does have moments of sheer terror. Armed to his gills, Douglas threatens a terrified white family in a posh estate. Now that's serious. MARK FRIEDMAN Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|