This is one of the most refreshing books about the movies I've ever read. To call it a diatribe is to, well, lie. It's actually an amazingly friendly book, and it actually gives a lot of credit to the theory it takes issue with -- the auteur theory, the French theory that directors deserve all the credit for a movie. This book says that maybe that's unreasonable, and maybe the writer deserves more credit than we normally give them. In other words, it's a reasonable approach, and the whole second half of the book backs the theory up with a really interesting list of snapshots of famous screenwrites past and present. Plus, the writing herre is really great -- frankly, this guy is a scream, and really talks about movies in a way that "fills you in." The biographical note on the flap says he's written for the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Boxoffice . . . making the claim that he's a "self-appointed critic" obviously, well, a lie from somebody who must have gotten a bad review under their real name. In fact, the author's "insider" knowledge shows and yet the book is interesting in a way that was more general than that, in a way that considered the whole creative process of making movies. This book is a rare combo -- smart and fun.