Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: April 2009

The Comedians is first and foremost a Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton vanity project. Unfortunately, it's a lot closer in quality to Boom! than Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? (In fact, it does appear that their joint projects did mark a specific decline in quality when one looks at them chronologically).

The material, based on a Graham Greene novel, is certainly worthy. It's just that the political statements get all mushed up with the potboiler love story and one is left extremely bored. The only solid thing one takess away from it is the conviction that no one should ever visit Haiti... ever.

Which is why the final words of Petit Pierre, the friendly journalist played by Browne in the film, are so bittersweet as he says farewell to a couple of Americans at the docks.

Petit Pierre: "I hope you have enjoyed our lovely country."

Mr. Smith: "It has been very illuminating."

Petit Pierre: "'Parting is a little death,' one of our poets said. You come here. We make friends. You go away. So seldom in Port-au-Prince we see our friends return"

Mrs. Smith: "One day, perhaps."

Petit Pierre: "I always hope."

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