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
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.