Jewish Journal

Curb Your Enthusiasm Review: October 18, 2009

by  Eddy Friedfeld

October 19, 2009 | 1:27 am

Weaving his web of self-made crises, Larry David continues to straddle that line between marginal social acceptability and “destined to be cared for by the state.”

In a coffee shop, while singing to the music on his headset, he apologizes to a woman, Denise, at the next table, who turns out to be a big fan of the artist.  Larry has been invited to a private concert with the artist.

He makes a “pre-date,” with Denise of course who rolls out from behind her table in a wheelchair.

“You could be a creep,” she says.

“I’m a very big creep,” Larry replies.

In another scene, only Larry can have a wrestling match with Rosie O’Donnell over whom should pick up the check (“It’s the inviter who picks up the check,” Larry declares, as opposed to Rosie’s position as the grabee of the check)

It is also fun to see Rosie O’Donnell poking fun at herself, lecturing Larry about being mean and insensitive). “My kid never stops calling me,” Rosie tells him.

“Wheelchair girl,” as Denise is now referred to by Larry, go to a restaurant without a ramp.  Instead of going back to the car, Larry offers to carry her up a long flight of stairs.

But he can barely carry her up the stairs- (Maxwell Smart once had the same problem).  Wheelchair girl now has a problem with Larry’s follically-challenged head.

The ever-annoying Larry asks what the proper term for her condition is. “Are you challenged?”

“Right now I am.”

Their substantive romantic rendezvous consists of Larry trying to figure out how to kiss a woman in a wheelchair in a funny acrobatic play.

Later, an ethnically insensitive remark about a couple’s adopted Asian baby gets Larry dis-invited to the private concert.

Leon is still living with “LD,” and counsels Larry to break up with his newest girlfriend.  Taking her out once more in order to so, Larry gets to park in the handicapped spot and get a table at restaurant immediately with a long line and without a reservation (as well as complimentary champagne), reason enough for Larry to continue dating her.  Being seen with Denise even gets him re-invited to the private concert.

Even “a day at the beach” is a problem for Larry when he hesitates to rescue Susie and Jeff’s daughter from drowning to protect his blackberry, prompting Susie to throw his blackberry into the ocean.

Larry, who doesn’t know Denise’s last name (he had her in his blackberry as “Denise Handicap”) tries to find her by roaming her neighborhood with Leon.  He sees a woman in a wheelchair and decides that she and Denise probably know each other.  Leon, Larry’s new sidekick and validator, supports Larry’s logic:

If you lived in an all white neighborhood and there was only one other black person, you’d know him, wouldn’t you?

Wendy, also in a wheelchair, does not know Denise, but is also listening to the artist’s music.  Larry takes her to the concert, as if no one would know the substitution.  As if that were not enough, Denise managed to find her way to the home as well. I like Larry when situations happen to him, but less when he creates it for himself, but the showdown was hilarious, including a funny payoff which I won’t spoil if you haven’t see the episode yet.

See you next week.

Eddy Friedfeld is a film and entertainment journalist and the co-author of “Caesar’s Hours” with Sid Caesar and teaches the history of comedy in America at Yale and NYU.

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