The Null Device

Blurb Racket

You've probably heard anecdotes about the writers of blurbs for posters, DVD covers and other promotional material egregiously twisting unfavourable reviews to produce glowing praise (apparently, as long as the words in the blurb appear in the review in the same order, anything goes). Now here's proof of this practice, with a selection of blurbs and the reviews they came from. They really are shameless:
The Girl in the Café (HBO)
Oregonian: "An endearing romantic comedy."
Actual line: "This new offering from HBO Films is at its heart a bit of political propaganda wrapped into an endearing romantic comedy that starts losing its laughs when it gets to Reykjavik and decides its teachable moment has arrived."
People Are Living There
New York Times: "Exquisite! Very rewarding performances by the four actors."
Actual line: "Things do pick up, however, in the play's second half, when Milly decides that the way to show up her boyfriend is to celebrate. What follows is the worst birthday party of all time, and Suzanne Shepherd, the director, stages it with exquisite patience, including a long, silent stretch of eating that will leave any dietitians in the audience appalled and everyone else laughing. ... Apparently it's no fun turning 50 whether you live in South Africa or in Elizabeth, N.J. That may be the main insight to be gleaned from the Specific Theater Company's revisiting of 'People Are Living There,' an unrewarding Athol Fugard play that benefits from some very rewarding performances by the four actors."

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