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Tropes associated with the movie:

  • Adaptation Displacement: Raise your hand if you knew before the credits that it was based off a novel.
  • Award Snub: Although rewarded fairly well at the Oscars, earning an award for its screenplay and nominations for Picture, Director, and actors Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, the film surprisingly missed a nomination for Paul Giamatti's lead performance.
  • Fridge Logic: An in-movie example, followed by an example of Fridge Brilliance: "Wait... why wasn't I injured in the accident?" "Because you were wearing your seatbelt."
  • Genius Bonus: An incredibly ironic joke in the film's final minutes. Miles, in the throes of depression, opens his prized vintage wine, a 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc. It's made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot, two grapes Miles had verbally trashed during the film.
    • Frass Canyon, the vineyard Miles trashes and where he gets the news that his book had been rejected, is this plus Meaningful Name: the word "frass" means insect waste material.
    • Miles's novel The Day After Yesterday. Roger Ebert (who knew) wrote that is what everyday feels like to an alcoholic.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Try watching the discussion about whether Miles should commit suicide again after the reveal that Miles' father did.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Miles and Jack would both go on to play Spider-Man villains.
  • Squick: Miles drinking from the spit bucket at Frass Canyon.
    • And there's of course the moment with the naked husband...just ugh.
    • The Unfortunate Implications of Miles buying a porn magazine called Barely Legal. He's an eighth grade teacher.
      • And he reads it enough that he can correct the clerk about which issue on the shelf is the most recent one.
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  • The Woobie: Miles brings a lot of problems on himself, but considering some of the things that happened to him recently, it's easy to see why he's clinically depressed.
  • Woolseyism: The TV edit has one particularly nice moment where Jack's line about how a woman's husband caught him "with my cock in his wife's ass" is changed to the technically clean but still very suggestive "with my finger in his wife's cookie jar."


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