Own Wilson-Ben Stiller-Penelope Cruz
Photo by Wilson Webb - Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Let me explain: I never walk out of movies. Ever. Once I’m at a screening or a theater, I stay till the bitter end. I used to tell myself it was because I hoped the film would get better, but that almost never happens. I also felt I couldn’t properly review a film unless I watched it from start to finish. (I fear there is also a streak of masochism involved.)

But as I embarked on the experience of watching Zoolander 2 at a press screening the other night, I had an immediate reaction of annoyance and impatience. The film was stupid right from the start. I told myself that I was wasting my time for no good reason.

Still, I stayed. Ten minutes passed, then twenty, filled with puerile and unfunny gags; along with gratuitous cameo appearances by everyone from Katy Perry to Willie Nelson. If even one of them had seemed clever I might have summoned some hope for the rest of the picture, but it was not to be.

Mind you, I thought the original Zoolander was pretty funny. I had no reason to expect this one to be so much worse. But it is.

Finally, after almost an hour, I strode out of the theater, proud of myself for taking positive action and sparing myself further insult. If there are hilarious moments in the latter half of the movie I can’t cite them for you. I can only offer an honest appraisal of what I saw. I bear no permanent grudge against anyone connected with the movie and hope they do better the next time out.

By the way, it felt good to get home earlier than usual…and I think I turned a corner. Life is too short to spend two hours in a state of total exasperation.