29 March 2004


In the comments to this little article about the mysterious success of the live action movie Scooby-Doo, a gem.
Movies don't get made simply because the money is right, especially when the people making them have other offers. They get made because somewhere there is a passion to make them -- a desire to work with these people again, to do this role again, to do a better job than in the first one, whatever ...

The centerpiece of the Scooby universe, for the potential adult audience, is Shaggy, and in Matthew Lillard's performance we have reached one of the transcendent moments of the contemporary Hollywood system. So often people are asked to perform opposite cartoons, to pretend that something that doesn't yet exist is there, is present. Now we have Lillard being asked to perform within a cartoon, to pretend that something that has seemingly always existed is newly discovered. His Kasem imitation yokes together Shaggy's pothead lucidity and Top 40's encyclopedic pop boosterism; his body language is a stoner rosetta stone.

These people made this movie to watch him become Shaggy again. There is more of the divine in his performance than in the whole of Gibson's The Passion; the Scooby Snack is the transubstantiated wafer of the pop cultural eucharist.