Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Movie Premiere That Is Your Life

Bret Easton Ellis was all the rage when I was finishing high school, a fitting tribute to the end of the eighties, an era that embraced Reagan, Rambo, big hair, Dynasty, crappy excess. All would-be writers envied him and his six-week crystal meth binge writing of Less Than Zero even as we talked about what a vapid book it was and how you couldn't have paid us enough to write it (good life lesson that the Chicken Soup books haven't quite articulated yet -- pretend you don't want something and you'll, umm, stop wanting it? Worth a shot at any rate!). Ellis' American Psycho craziness coincided with my time in grad school, and I remember the NOW boycott of the book and how Ellis got not one but TWO advances because of it (this is feminist progress?) and in an even weirder turn of events (start humming "It's A Small World After All"), the leader of said boycott, Gloria Steinem, ended up marrying David Bale in her sixties (her first marriage), the father of Christian Bale, the actor that played in the enormously campy and succesful version of the movie.

Most of Ellis' books have been turned into movies -- my favorite is the first, Less Than Zero, starring the wonderful Andrew McCarthy. For years, I'd have an annual Andrew McCarthy Film Festival, weekend-long affairs featuring the best of Mr. McCarthy, a defacto Brat Packer and moody actor with a pout that wouldn't stop. I loved Andrew! Of course, Robert Downey Jr. didn't hurt this film, playing a drug-addicted (method acting, anyone?) young actor with nothing but time on his hands and James Spader trying to force him to pay back his drug debt by turning tricks. A beautiful Jamie Gertz sniffed coke and worked as a model while trying to decide what to do with Clay. I watched this film a few times on video with my dad, thinking wow, that's just like my life. Mineral Wells wasn't LA, I wasn't beautiful, rich, or all that young-feeling, but otherwise, it was pretty close. Emotional truth, right? I mean, who didn't think that?

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"You do an awfully good impression of yourself." Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park

Cocktail Hour

Ralphie's Last Drink (After Sopranos character Ralphie, whom Tony kills with a frying pan)

Honor and Duty

1 part soda
1 part scotch

Serve over ice.

Benedictions and Maledictions

Thanks to all for the new comments -- especially want to welcome Sera from Lipstick Explosion! I'm so glad to hear that there are other Carpenters' fans out there. And yes, they still play them at weddings from time to time, which always makes me cry, even if it's a corndog rendition by someone without a very good voice. Best to keep the Carpenters pure and play the originals, I'm thinking.


special said...

Hey, I caught Sera's blog and I just want to warn people that I have a special friend that had to declare bankruptcy because of his addiction to credit card phone sex and he doesn't even like big black dick or even personas or even the Bite Eastern Elis guy. So there.

Joe the Bartender said...

I'm cutting you off, Michelle.

Frank Rich's smarter brother said...

James Spader was great in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape." P.S. Most people miss the theme of this flick.

Sheila said...

American Psycho is one of my boyfriends favorite movies. I saw it once... it scared the hell out of me.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, that is an interesting pose you have there, a charming view. Lovely as always. Bravo!

JR's Thumbprints said...

"Less Than Zero" is indeed a crappy novel. Another turd is Gorman Bechard's "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told," about Jesus Christ's kid sister sending a message to the masses: "Be Kind." Is that all? Be kind? Both books together, on a scale of 1 to 10, rate less than zero.

luma said...

Michelle, I imagine the doses that if present. The secondary world walks saddening me. I have come here without being able to have access the commentaries that are always are. I found that it had the taken off one. My mother passing one days with me and I without time pra blog! (laughs) How much to the invitation; it does not invite me! I can accept! Good week! Beijus

sera said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for the welcome! I'm enjoying your blog immensely, and one of these days I should have a party with "Michelle's Spells" as the featured drinks (the vodka ones, especially).