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Funny Business

To promote the release of Howard Franklin's Larger Than Life (starring Bill Murray) in 1996, MGM/United Artists faxed several B-list critics a list of suggested quotes for reviewers, among them: "In three words, funny, funny, funny," "4 big fat stars!" and "Who knew Matthew McConaughey is a comic genius!"

Within days, ads appeared quoting Bonnie Churchill of the National News Service waxing, "funny, funny, funny!" and Nancy Mills (of the Mills Syndicate) proclaiming, "Who knew Matthew McConaughey is a comic genius!"

Respectable critics disagreed. Roger Ebert's verdict? "I plan to forget this movie as soon as possible." "A disjointed mess," said the San Francisco Chronicle. "You'll groan..."

[Churchill also called Jack (with Robin Williams) "The funniest and best film you'll see." Other critics disagreed:
* "Bad movies happen" (USA Today)
* "One feels trapped in some bizarre Williams hell" (San Francisco Chronicle)
* "Downright painful" (Washington Post)]

[Shortly after the release of Goldeneye (in 1995), Chicago critic and President of the Chicago Film Critics Association Dan Gire was surprised to receive a letter from MGM containing a list of suggested quotes for journalists, and explaining that he could not use the line "The best Bond of them all" because another 'journalist' had already snared it.]

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