Kicking the cliche habit

Since health or behaviorally related resolutions at this point in my life are probably futile, I’ll take the opportunity of the New Year to resolve to improve my writing style as a film critic. Such as not mixing up names (see below). Well, good luck on that. Maybe I’ll start on something a bit more doable,  like cutting down on modifiers  and eliminating clichés and mannerisms, or at least the ones listed below.

First, I’ll start with a few hobby-horses of my own, pet words  which I’ve been mindlessly repeating. No more “transcendent,” “chthonic,” “twee,” “oneiric” or “wacky.” No, I can’t eliminate “wacky.” I can’t live without “wacky.” Maybe next year.

Next come those flaccid bromides familiar to anyone who reads the movie ad blurbs in the newspapers. They include:




“eye candy”









“feel good movie”

“date movie”

 “popcorn movie”

“chick flick”





“edge of your seat”



Any individual usage or combination of the following:

“white knuckle” “adrenaline-soaked” “roller coaster” “ride”

I’m sure many have been left out. Suggestions are welcome.

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