Believe it or not, there are people out there who haven’t read Calvin & Hobbes. That means there are people who don’t know the sheer joy of reading about Calvin, a rambunctious and preternaturally smart 6-year-old, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who comes to life in Calvin’s imagination. Those people don’t know about G.R.O.S.S., Calvin’s acronym for his two-members-only club, Get Rid of Slimy girlS. They don’t know about evil snowmen, dinosaurs, and Calvin’s parents. Calvin’s father, in particular, can be a mischief-maker, as he tells Calvin the reason there are black and white photos is because the world used to be black and white. People who don’t know those things will learn some of them when watching Dear Mr. Watterson, a slight love letter to Watterson’s creation, but there’s no reason they should watch it in the first place. No, Dear Mr. Watterson is for the bona fide fan, and as fun as it can be to watch other comic strip creators (including Berkeley Breathed, brain behind the also-awesome Bloom County) and museum curators talk about Calvin and his tiger, it doesn’t add up to much. It seems long, the reclusive Watterson does not appear (natch), and the director/star is a non-presence. Do yourself a favor and pick up Something Under the Bed is Drooling instead. (DR)
CCA Cinematheque, NR, 89 min.