What does “too on the nose” mean, especially as applied to art?
I use the expression but struggle to explicitly articulate what I mean. My best attempt is that I use it to refer to film, music, etc. that lacks subtlety and nuance, for example cheaply getting emotional heft from very directly stating cliched and unsubtle emotions.
- In addition; also
- More than enough; excessively
- To a regrettable degree – AHDEL/TFD
Obviously, I’m using too in the sense of #2 or #3.
And the idiom on the nose:
Exactly, precisely; …This term… may come from boxing, where the opponent’s nose is a highly desired target. – AHDI/TFD
I haven’t been able to find reliable definitions for too on the nose online (they’re swamped by definition of ‘on the nose’, which is apparently often a positive phrase meaning exact or precise).
You can’t be “too on the nose” in boxing. Can it have a negative meaning or is this a misuse of the phrase?