Rick Polito has been writing off-beat and often hilarious synopses for various movies to be used in TV listings for years. His famous “Wizard of Oz” synopsis, penned for the Marin Independent Journal and named by the LA Times as TV Listing of the Week when it was written in 1998, is making the rounds on the interwebs Friday (Oct. 26) thanks to Reddit.
The synopsis reads:
“Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman
she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.”
Polito jokes with Jim Romenesko in an interview, “That line is going to follow me to the grave. It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a
crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their
email sigs. Someday I’m going to walk down the street and see it on a T-shirt and punch the person who’s wearing it.”
But he is still writing these pithy movie summaries, now for Pacific Sun. Here are a few of our favorites. See if you can guess which movies they’re from (one is total gimme, but it’s too funny not to include. Answers at the bottom).
“This is the update of the 1980 classic. The production is slicker. The
music is louder and the eating disorders are more pronounced.”
“A federal agent in Chicago hampers the work of an enterprising American job creator.”
“While vacationing in England, a young man is bitten by a werewolf and
finds himself behaving like a beast and terrorizing the locals. How this
is different from the average young American vacationing in Europe
“Clint Eastwood is an angry old man who can’t relate to the modern world.
He’s also in this movie about a bitter suburban retiree.”
“Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton take a tyrannical boss hostage
in this quaint look back at a simpler era when people actually got to go
home at 5pm. They were going to re-make this with men in the Tomlin,
Fonda, Parton roles kidnapping a female executive, but then it would
have been porn.”
Answers: “Fame,” “The Untouchables,” “An American Werewolf in London,” “Gran Turino” and “9 to 5.”