January 08, 2003

Yea, you may have walked through Central Park with someone who would one day be Star Search contestant.

You may very well have, boy-o. And that's fine, so have I, as of tonight. So now we share a common life experience, you and I, something we can discuss over drinks, a starting point to the gentlemanly conversation we can have now that we're on equal footing, at least where previous associations with Star Search contestants are concerned. That's nice.

But you have not walked through Central Park with this Star Search contestant.

And I have. So I'll understand if you want to slink shame-facedly from the room at this point.

The girl pictured is Melanie, the finest, sweetest, smartest most down-to-earth model/actress I have ever had the privelege of sharing the stage, and then a year or so later, a peanut butter cookie from a shop in Greenwich Village with. Later we were insulted by world's most bitter comedian Marc Maron in the Comedy Cellar while her Judo expert psuedo-boyfriend sat hand-rolling cigarettes. It was a good night, and I promised myself the only thing I'd fall in love with was the city, and I'd like to think it's a promise I've kept.

I didn't actually see it, but Goldstein gave me a recap, along with the video capture and a priceless clip of Ben Stein coming onto a girl I'm always proud to call friend.

She lost by one stinkin' point. Man, what is with you, American Viewing Public?


Saw Adaptation, finally.

There's no genre that has a tendency to trip into self-absorbtion and tedium than writers writing about writing. So a movie about a writer writing about writing, well, what can you expect?

Apparently, when the movie is written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze, a lot. Even when it's a movie about a writer writing a movie about a writer struggling to write a movie adaptation of a book about a writer. This may be the closest we'll ever get to seeing Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius on the big screen. They share the same self-aware conceit: That you can use a cliche as long as you note, loudly, that you're using it. And both works take it one step further, by noting the fact that even though they're being detached and ironic about the cliches, that in itself is a cliche. The author then proceeds to beat himself up about it, to our delight and amusement.

In anyone else's hands, it might just seem cynical and self-absorbed. It seems cynical and self-absorbed here, too, but they manage to find a really good movie among all that. Funny, moving, touching, especially for those of us in the "Sheltered Awkward Writers Who Get Nervous Around Women" camp. (This is a pretty lame camp, by the way, and I'm still waiting for a care package from mom and dad.)

Was it my favorite movie ever, like it was for Kate? No. Not by a long shot. That place of honor belongs to another "writer" movie. But if it fairs well on repeated viewings, it may just get up there, among the Lord Of The Ringses and Star Warses and American Beautyses at the top.

Any movie where the two main character's names can be combined to make the first two thirds of my own (in this case, Charles and Donald) and "Alison" by Elvis Costello, the greatest song in the history of songs, plays in the background at a party is a winner in my book.

The problem is, it's a book about a writer writing a review about a movie about a writer writing...yea, you get the idea.

Big ups again to Brian

Posted by DC at January 8, 2003 11:40 PM
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