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About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • “Civil War” at National Review

    By Kyle | April 23, 2010

    A healthy and vigorous debate has broken out over global warming at National Review’s The Corner. (Not really a civil war; as far as I know, no shots have been fired.) The Atlantic provides a useful precis. And yes, I do appreciate the Atlantic for noticing that conservatives exist and are worthy of debating. Rarely do I get the same feeling from the Times or The New Yorker.

    Topics: Magazines, Politics | No Comments »

    Roly-Poly Role Models

    By Kyle | January 10, 2010

    Plus-sized models: Should we cheer them — or are they just encouraging more American fatties to have another piece of pie? More in my Sunday column.

    Topics: Europe, Fashion, Magazines, Politics | 7 Comments »

    New NFL Doc Attacks Gene Upshaw

    By Kyle | November 3, 2009

    “Blood Equity,” a documentary (trailer here) about the post-football lives of athletes such as Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster, whose life fell apart and ended in a nightmare due, possibly, to brain trauma suffered on the field, looks like a full-on attack on NFL players’ union chief Gene Upshaw, an ex-lineman himself.

    The film, by ex-Super Bowl-winning linebacker Roman Phifer, uses interviews with ex-jocks like Mike Ditka and Moose Johnston (who uses the word “outrage” to refer to the players’ attitudes toward Upshaw, for not doing enough for the wounded ex-warriors) make it clear that Upshaw is under fire. No one is talking about illegalizing football but everyone wants some relief. The New York Times has been leading the way for a couple of years and now Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker is on the case too: Football people want aid for those who left an important part of themselves back on the field. The owners, ultimately, are going to be on the hook. The movie is coming Nov. 20 in theaters, Dec. 1 on DVD.

    Topics: Business, Magazines, Movies, Newspapers, Sports | 2 Comments »

    The January Issue

    By Kyle | October 16, 2009


    We rely on Page Six to get the real deal for us on the major issues of the day. Today: an inquiry into whether January Jones’ latest cover, for GQ, showed her in the full flower of her natural bosominess or whether the photo was enhanced. I say the latter. January, who plays Betty Draper on “Mad Men,” has one of the year’s most spectacular screen entrances, in Richard Curtis’s upcoming comedy about rocking in the free world in 1960s Britain, “Pirate Radio.” The interview with January is here and yes, sometimes I do wish I worked for GQ.

    Topics: Magazines, Movies | 4 Comments »

    Glenn Beck Makes Cover of Time Magazine

    By Kyle | September 17, 2009

    The headline is, “Glenn Beck and the Angry Style in American Politics.” The story is here. I don’t think Glenn is any angrier than, say, Jon Stewart, whose vein-popping outrage is pretty much a permanent feature of The Daily Show. The last time I watched Jon, in that ACORN clip, he used the f-word about four times and had to be constantly bleeped, but “profanity-laced, red-faced tirade” is not a phrase that is going to be attached to Stewart.

    Topics: Magazines, New York City, News, Politics, TV | 2 Comments »

    Pull the Plug, Dr. Obama

    By Kyle | September 15, 2009

    This magazine cover says to me, “Buh-bye ObamaCare.” Newsweek may be appalled to hear this, but to the average American it is basically seen as a field office for the Obama ministry of information. One thing the health-care debate has been missing so far has been a strong visual that you can pop up on a TV screen to say it all. This pretty much says it all. I expect we will be seeing a lot of it.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Magazines, Politics | 1 Comment »

    Review: “The September Issue”

    By Kyle | August 27, 2009

    Vogue editrix Anna Wintour evidently consented to have a documentary filmed around her to counteract the frightening image of her in “The Devil Wears Prada.” R.J. Cutler’s doc “The September Issue” opens this weekend. My review is up.

    Topics: Art, Fashion, Magazines, Movies, New York City | No Comments »

    A Wintour’s Tale

    By Kyle | August 17, 2009

    My Post colleague Serena French slices up “The September Issue,” the upcoming documentary about Vogue and its freaky-scary editrix Anna Wintour. Wintour apparently comes off looking pretty much like a heartless crone in the movie, I’ve heard. But that’s the magic of doc cinema: Convince somebody that you’re going to make them a big-screen star, then let them hang themselves.

    Topics: Fashion, Magazines, Movies, New York City | No Comments »

    Quentin Tarantino Interview

    By Kyle | August 13, 2009

    QT is back in peak form with the awesome “Inglourious Basterds.” The Atlantic has him for a sit down. Check it out here. Warning: the interview gives away bits of the movie. I highly recommend you see the movie and revel in its freshness before you read a lot about it. Tarantino:

    “Holocaust movies always have Jews as victims,” he said, plainly exasperated by Hollywood’s lack of imagination. “We’ve seen that story before. I want to see something different. Let’s see Germans that are scared of Jews. Let’s not have everything build up to a big misery, let’s actually take the fun of action-movie cinema and apply it to this situation.”

    Topics: Magazines, Movies | 1 Comment »

    Review: “Right Time, Right Place”

    By Kyle | July 3, 2009

    My review of Richard Brookhiser’s memoir of his years at William F. Buckley’s side at National Review, “Right Time, Right Place,” is up. Central to the book is Brookhiser’s onetime status as heir to the throne of the opinion journal — until Buckley told him in a chilly note that Brookhiser was unfit for the post.

    Topics: Books, Magazines, New York City, Politics | No Comments »

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