[M]ost restaurants that pay any attention to reviews will be all over their servers after reading this—it was how good the servers were that affected her enjoyment of each restaurant, regardless of how good/bad the food was. My note to those managers—treat your waitstaff well and they won't fail you.
A Fray Mystery: Dickerman was roundly criticized for preferring Olive Garden cheesecake to Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, because, as The Fray pointed out here, here, here, and here, the Cheesecake Factory makes Olive Garden's cheesecakes. How does the Fray Editor know? Because last month the Cheesecake Factory supplied some listeria-laced cakes to the Olive Garden before recalling them. Darden, the company that owns Olive Garden, subsequently stopped selling Cheesecake Factory products (for a while?). So, did Dickerman eat a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake or not? Stop back. (Not that this much matters—Olive Garden may stipulate that Cheesecake Factory use a different, better recipe for its cakes.)
More Fray Intelligence: There were pseudo-reliable reports of OG canned sauces here, here, here—each one with the plausibility of an urban legend, like the reports that Sara Lee or Little Debbie (twice) makes Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes [we know CF has its own Calabasas, Calif. plant because that's where the recalled cakes came from] or that Chun King makes their Asian-style foods. Don't stop back for more on this shadow outsourcing.
Why do reviewers do this? My only explanation is that they think their review of the movie is more important than the movie itself. Well guess what—it's NOT!
But in The Fray, no good whine goes unpunished. Fenfen kicked back, hard:
Ah, so please tell me why this bothers you … Sure, a movie like "The Crying Game" involves a sudden plot twist, revelation of which would spoil something the moviemaker is explicitly using to achieve one of the movie's objectives. But whether someone dies along the way in a Terminator movie, or a movie about a murderer, hardly seems to be connected to the overall success either of the movie or of one's enjoyment in watching it. Besides, who in god's name watches a movie to watch a PLOT unfold? Only teenagers could possibly fail to notice that movie plot novelties are nearly as rare as a visit from Halley's Comet.
I hope more Fraysters take sides in the narrative vs. spectacle debate here. What are you watching movies for?
(One point to ponder: was the movie made to be watched at all? It is a Franchise Picture [Warner Bros. distributed], and the skinny on that shingle's production slate is that by preselling foreign rights, a movie that nobody likes but its star [Battlefield Earth, anyone?] can be profitable—for Franchise honcho Elie Samaha.)
Also check out AdamMorgan's cavil about Edelstein riding the big, fat, summer sleeper bandwagon. 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7, 2002