Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Laughter, suspense, heartbreak, wordplay

Brette and I went to see Wordplay on Tuesday night (here's my previous concerns about overstating the pleasures of crossword puzzles). Early in the movie, there's a funny scene of Will Shortz doing the weekend puzzle on NPR, in which Shortz names a category (automobiles) and the contestant has to name a noun in that category with the same first two letters (Audi). Other examples included capital cities/ Carson City and Snow White's dwarves/ Sneezy. The Upper West Side audience began whispering their guesses at the answer ("Snoopy," "Snappy"), and I figured this was going to be a long movie.

I won't give anything away, but I will say that Brette and I gasped audibly at one particularly horrifying moment. There were also moments to sigh sadly, laugh at the letters that solvers send to Will Shortz ("you are SICK SICK SICK ... p.s. you are SICK SICK SICK"), etc. There's a performance of a song about crossword puzzles with the refrain, "If you don't come across, I'm gonna be down." So, yeah, it's that kind of movie, but it was pretty good.

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