My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin
In 2007, Nathan Rabin set out to provide a revisionist look at the history of cinematic failure on a weekly basis. What began as a solitary ramble through the nooks and crannies of pop culture evolved into a way of life. My Year Of Flops collects dozens of the best-loved entries from the A.V. Club column along with bonus interviews and fifteen brand-new entries covering everything from notorious flops like The Cable Guy and Last Action Hero to bizarre obscurities like Glory Road, Johnny Cash’s poignantly homemade tribute to Jesus. Driven by a unique combination of sympathy and Schadenfreude, My Year Of Flops is an unforgettable tribute to cinematic losers, beautiful and otherwise.
Actual text sent to my roommate on Sunday:
“They were the musical equivalent of a Hawaiian shirt paired with Bermuda shorts, a sentient tiki bar in rock-band form.” I give up
I can never write anything touching the majesty of this sentence
(That’s from Rabin’s coverage of the NOW That’s What I Call Music! series, describing Smash Mouth.) So, yeah, I’ve been reading a lot of the A. V. Club recently—it’s a perfect blend of helpful primers, thoughtful critique, and, of course, delicious, delicious snark. But I’ve been particularly impressed by Nathan Rabin’s writing style and I take a particular shine to big studio clunkers, so how could I not snap this up? Well, want to snap this up; I foresee a Christmas gift to myself in the future…
Edwin at bibliokept loves Rabin’s writing as much as I do, but points out that collecting Rabin’s articles doesn’t make for particularly sustained reading. Michael Patrick Brady, writing for Pop Matters, appreciates Rabin’s ability to look for the good (or salvageable, anyway) even in the worst films. Samir at Half-Deserted Streets enjoyed it. Stephanie Zacharek, writing for The New York Times, enjoys Rabin’s wit but finds him unable to articulate the transcendent when it comes to transcendently bad.
My Year of Flops was published on October 19, 2010.