One-sentence review: If you know and like Richard Ayoade’s unique sense of humour, this is for you.
Slightly longer review:
As a literary snob who likes trashy films, Richard Ayoade’s Ayoade on Top is the exact opposite of what I would normally want to read.
After all, it’s a tongue in cheek analysis of a low-brow comedy from 2003 called View from the Top that starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo – and Ayoade reviews it as if it were a highly respected work of cinematic art.
It’s a funny idea made even more comic – and audacious – by the fact you actually need to watch View from the Top first in order to read this.
You’d think the joke would become stale halfway through the book – if not sooner – and yet through whip smart writing and seemingly earnest witticisms, Ayaoade manages to pull it off. Every time the humour verges on becoming predictable, Ayoade then writes something laugh out loud funny – and so on I kept reading. Don’t get me wrong – there’s no way in hell I’d ever read this again – but I did enjoy it.
There’s not much else to say – except that if you liked watching The IT Crowd or Travel Man, then you should get a kick out of this. Then again, I like almost everything Ayoade’s been in (except for The Crystal Maze – that’s just unwatchable).
PS I must confess that, even though the book takes the piss out of View from the Top (hell, even Gwyneth disowned the film), the white trash part of me actually enjoyed watching it, which meant that having to watch the film first was actually a bonus for me. Then again, I might be the only one who feels that way.