The NY Times' Janet Maslin reviews The Man Who Heard Voices, the soon-to-be-released hagiography of oppressed, misunderstood auteur M. Night Shyamalan, who somehow survived a creative stoning by Disney Philistine Nina Jacobson and took passion project The Lady in the Water to the more nurturing executives at Warner Bros. We've already heard about Night's infamous Valentine's Day flaying at the the hands of Jacobson, but Maslin highlights a far more appalling indignity visited upon the auteur's loyal assistant:
Consider the story of Paula, who was Night's assistant when he was ready to spring his "Lady in the Water" screenplay upon the Walt Disney Company. Among Paula's virtues were the ability to make hot chocolate exactly the way Night likes it and to fly cross-country without going to the bathroom. The screenplay was far too important to be left unattended. [...]
But back to Paula: in a story that will live in legend, Mr. Bamberger reveals how she was not welcomed with sufficient deference at the home of the powerful Disney executive Nina Jacobson. Ms. Jacobson is blasted for having taken her son to a birthday party instead of dedicating her Sunday to Night's precise timetable for script-reading. "What could Nina be doing that's more important than getting Night's new script?" Mr. Bamberger asks. (The italics are his.) Then the coup de grâce: Paula was offered "low-carb soup from the refrigerator." The implications are clear: it may have come from a can.
It is one thing to risk offending your high-paid director by relentlessly questioning his vision over dinner, but entirely another to disrespect his trusty Gal Friday with a canned, carb-reduced repast. Once we stop soiling ourselves from outrage, we ask that you join us in delivering ten thousand cans of soup to Jacobson's office to protest this egregious assistant-rights violation.