Like Paul Thomas Anderson (whose There Will Be Blood I critiqued
below), she seems driven not by inner ghosts, or visions, or demons, but by a compulsion to better manage the culture she was born into. The Clean House, for instance, is more like a perfect mix tape than a play. What's weird is that I'm not sure Ruhl herself is aware she's a kind of multi-cultural drama jockey, spinning a sleek mix of high-end chick lit and arthouse hits. Does she realize she borrowed her joke-so-funny-it-kills from Monty Python, and her dirt-obliterating-a-white-living-room from Tommy, and her adulterous-apples-popping-up-in-other-people's-lives from John Updike, her chicks-bonding-over-chocolate from some Susan Sarandon movie, and her saucy Latin maid from too many 70s "foreign films" to count? Somehow I actually think she imagines this is all her own stuff. Which is a little scary.
What's scarier is that the critics seem only to happy to cooperate with her delusions.
Monday, March 03, 2008
The TOO Clean Room
Thom Garvey on the critical phenomenon of Sarah Ruhl: