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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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    John Cusack, Radical

    By kyle | April 23, 2012

    My esteemed colleague Stephen Whitty has an interview with John Cusack to plug “The Raven” (which was such a huge flop in the UK that, a month after it opened, I couldn’t find any theaters still showing it in London–and it opened in March). Whitty wonders whether opposing Obama from the left has hurt Cusack (Cusack says no, which isn’t surprising to me) and dubs Cusack “a radical.”

    I don’t know whether Cusack is a radical or not, but nothing in the story speaks to the issue. Cusack, we learn in the story, opposes Guantanamo, denial of habeas rights to prisoners of war and the assassination of US citizens on foreign battlefields. I don’t agree, but reasonable people can differ. I don’t find Cusack’s to be “radical” positions. They were pretty much the default positions, until three years ago, of most Democrats and a big slice of libertarian-leaning Republicans. Cusack is sticking to these positions even though Obama hasn’t, and sees no particular reason to support Obama anymore.

    This is what, to Whitty, seems to mark out Cusack as an extremist: That he puts principle above party. But if these are your issues, you’d be absolutely right to perceive no differences between the two main parties. There aren’t any to speak of, and it would be logical to abstain from voting or support some other candidate. Perhaps to not be a radical, you should simply be an opportunist who pretends to get exercised about certain issues in order to use them as a cudgel against the opposition party, then shut up about them when your party is in office.

    By the way (contra the hundreds of times I’ve heard that “Smith makes everything about politics”), though Cusack and I do not vote the same way, I think he’s a good actor within certain parameters and I put his hilarious comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” on my ten best list a couple of years ago.

    Topics: Movies | 6 Comments »

    6 Responses to “John Cusack, Radical”

    1. Obama bin Biden Says:
      April 23rd, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Cusack is a clueless, uneducated, dimwit who never quite hit the A-List status of other Hollywood idiots; who share the same warped view of society due to suffering from Liberalism, the mental disorder.

    2. Hedge Says:
      April 23rd, 2012 at 11:58 am

      When it boils right down to it, I do not give a s–t what hollywoodites, like Mr. Cusack, have to say on issues…whether I agree with them or not. Their lives are so far removed from the ‘real’ world I live in and their self-importance knows no bounds…so why should I?

      But, you’re right, Kyle…I will cut him a little slack for HTTM, Grose Pointe Blank, and Say Anything…but not much.

    3. Sherlock Says:
      April 23rd, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      That should be written underneath the names of the guests on Meet the Press or the Today Show: “An opportunist who pretends to get exercised about certain issues in order to use them as a cudgel against the opposition party.”

    4. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      April 23rd, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I heard Cusack talk about Poe at this past weekend’s LA Times Festival of Books and I found him quite knowledgeable on Poe and that genre of literature. He also kept politics out of it so I enjoyed that. Too bad the movie sucks because it sounded like it could be interesting.

    5. Paul Says:
      April 24th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Cusack is rather adept at helping Matt Damon tie his shoes.

    6. Climbr880 Says:
      April 24th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I don’t agree with his politics, but love him in the above-mentioned films (save HTTM, which I hated), plus “High Fidelity”. Also, his sister Joan is a great addition to every film she’s in.