Cute, with a capital "C" and two "u"'s. Cuute. That's the adjective of choice for that which is appealingly amusing without being great art, inoffensive without being bland, and clever without being jarring. A top is cute. A boy is cute. DreamWorks' animated franchise follow-up Shrek 2 is cute. Look, it's almost June, and it's pleasant to sit in a cool theater and watch the cinematic equivalent of holding a sweating glass of lemonade to your fevered brow. What did you want, a cure for cancer?
That's Violet Carberry reviewing Shrek 2 in the Baltimore City Paper. She later notes that the movie "isn't a neo-Freudian, smarty-pants reinterpretation; it's more like acknowledging that Mister Rogers had a sex life, sat on the toilet, or cursed when he hit his finger with a hammer."
That reminds me of a tale. R. grew up in Pittsburgh, and it seems like whenever we go back there someone tells me a Mister Rogers story. My favorite was relayed by a fellow who once found himself sharing an elevator with Rogers at the hospital. A friend or relative of the TV star was about to have a second surgery, and he was asking a doctor, in that mild-mannered, sing-songy Mister Rogers voice, whether he was the same man who had done the first operation.
"Yes, I was," replied the surgeon.
"Well," said Rogers, his voice unchanged, "try not to fuck it up this time."