All of a sudden it's cool to like The Brown Bunny. Remember that movie? Roger Ebert called it the worst film in the history of Cannes, and people everywhere were waiting to find out just how awful it was. The butt of every joke told in Hollywood for several months in 2003, it seemed to be destined for a future on Mystery Science Theater. It inspired a huge, hilarious, and mostly one-sided war of words between Ebert and star/writer/director/editor/composer/janitor/caddie Vincent Gallo.
Several months pass. The film actually gets a theatrical release, which is trumpeted by an appropriately sleazy billboard on Sunset Boulevard (never actually saw it, but I'm assuming it was right across from the Hustler Superstore). News comes that Gallo has re-edited the film, cutting its length significantly and apparently somehow making it less pretentious. Gallo and Ebert even sat down and settled their differences, of all things.
Now look at the reviews! Ebert likes it. Salon likes it. The Village Voice... well, as usual, you can't tell what they're thinking without a map. Because some things never change. But the movie actually has a not-all-that-terrible score of 48 on MetaCritic, and that's about 48 points higher than most people would have guessed last year.
It's official. The Brown Bunny is the cinematic equivalent of that kid in middle school who everyone made fun of so relentlessly that he was scared to even go to class, but then he moved away for a while and when he came back in high school he looked totally different and people whispered that he dealt pot and the cool kids started hanging out with him and he even had a girlfriend who went to another school.