Walter Mencken 10 a.m., July 23
Will Reese Witherspoon Succumb to the Generation-Award Curse?
Look, we all loved Reese Witherspoon as a man-stealing slut in Walk the Line. (Yes, yes, Johnny Cash is the one who left his wife and the mother of his children for a showbiz blondie, but what are we gonna do, blame the man? And while we're at it, what a hilarious title! "Walk the Line" was Johnny Cash's song about what again? Marital fidelity? And you use it to title the story of how he left his wife and wooed a divorcee? That takes big brass ones, son. But we digress.) And of course, she was oodles of fun in Election back in what, 1999? So naturally, when we heard that she had been awarded the Generation Award at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, we were...concerned.
The Generation Award, of course, started out as the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a spoof, a well-deserved tweak of the self-seriousness found in other award shows. But when the brand starts to monetize, even the worst jokes tend to get serious, and so, after having been awarded to Godzilla and Jason Voorhees, the Lifetime Achievement Award was shelved and eventually brought back with a vaguer, more pretentious title. Congratulations, Reese!
But seriously, folks: take a look at the past winners:
2005: Tom Cruise. Whereupon he promptly went...askew.
Yeah, yeah, old news. Moving on.
2006: Jim Carrey. Whereupon, he promptly went...askew.
And since then? Well, we all hope Mr. Popper's Penguins is a big hit for Mr. Carrey.
2007: Mike Myers. Whereupon...The Love Guru, a movie so bad it doesn't even appear on Myers' IMDB page.
2008: Adam Sandler. Whereupon...well, Funny People was by all accounts an interesting attempt, but it was quickly followed by Grown Ups, which, as it happens, gave us this year's MTV Movie Awards winner for best line.
2009: Ben Stiller. Two words: Little Fockers.
2010: Sandra Bullock. She made The Blind Side in 2009. She won the Generation Award in 2010. And then...nothing.
Take care, Reese. We're not saying you're cursed now. We're just saying.
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