Get Low has been a ten year journey. From the moment I first had the idea until the time it was released to the public was approximately nine years, ten months and twenty days, give or take a few here and there. There have been many highs and quite a few lows during that time. Each person who came on board, both cast and crew, was a high, as was filming and of course the world premiere and various screenings. Getting paid was nice too. The years of being in development hell was a low, as were some of the normal struggles that go along with trying to write anything. So now it’s out there, for everyone to see. For a long time, I’ve wondered what it would be like to finally have it released. To finally be able to share it with the world (ok, so it doesn’t release overseas until December, but you know what I mean). For years I’ve wondered. Now I know. You know how some celebrities say that they never read reviews? Well, I’m not a celebrity, and I read all of them.
It’s mostly ecstasy, with a little bit of agony.
Mostly ecstasy because most folks seem to really like it. We’re at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is fabulous. Search Twitter and the blogosphere and most people like it a lot. The people I know like it, or at least have they care about me enough to not say they didn’t, and if that’s you then thank you for your kindness. In general, though, the reviews have been mostly happy and fun.
But some of the negative reviews and negative comments stick with me. Right after the world premiere in Toronto the first review that came out was Hollywood Reporter. I’ll never forget waking up that morning and reading it and feeling a great sense of disappointment. They still gave it a “good tomato,” but it was not a glowing review by any means. In fact, they thought we were destined for HBO or A&E. Yuck. Since then there have been a few other negative reviews, some of which were just nuts. One critic, I found out later, pans everything. It’s just his thing. OK, fine. I can dismiss that. But I can’t dismiss it when someone put on Twitter the other day that they were alone in the theater until some old guy in a jumpsuit walked in. This could be the greatest movie in the world and if no one goes to see it, then it doesn’t do anybody any good. I’m going to remember that one too.
People are going to see Get Low. Some of them, for the first time tonight, are in Atlanta. Many are being moved and touched. I’ve received some nice emails from complete strangers. I read them all and will continue to read them all until I have to hire out staff to send out form replies like the one I got today from the British Consulate in response to my blasting them about their handling of the Iroquois Lacrosse Team’s passports. Those jerks. However, British cultural insensitivity toward Native Americans has nothing to do with the fact I am very glad that so many people are enjoying this film that took so long and so much hard work to make. As for the little bit of agony that goes along with that, well, I guess I expected it. After all, this isn’t Hollywood. This is life, even if some of it took place there.