who dat? contest.
left column plotting comeback...
So I saw Wonder Boys this weekend. I didn't think I would - in fact, The Worst Movie Poster Since Diggstown is part of the reason I had no plans to see the thing. The other reason is my aforementioned (and still unchanged) opinion that Tobey Maguire is B O O O O O O O O O R I N G.
The reason I saw it was the fact that friends called me and informed me that as a SAG member, I can get into a bunch of movies right now for free (they want our votes for the SAG awards). So we bought tickets for American Beauty ("Yes sir, I know I'm 45 minutes late. I only really like the second half.") and walked into Wonder Boys instead.
Incidentally, Tobey Maguire should go punch the costume designer, as on his second entrance he's outfitted EXACTLY like Wes Bentley in Beauty, and he deeply suffers for the comparison (can you say, not nearly as charismatic?).
So the movie is actually pretty darn good. It's quirky and odd and fairly subtle. None of the acting is particularly earth-shattering, but the cast, Michael Douglas (this man can seriously pick projects), Downey Jr. (where the fuck does this guy find the time, between jail stints and crack-whoring, to make 7 movies a fucking year? i think someone better go check his cell), Frances McDormand, even Katie Holmes does quite well, and the script is pretty tight. What surprised me the most, I think, was the fact that this stupid valley crowd (full, by the way), was incredibly in to the film, and laughing their asses off. I really couldn't believe it. Curtis Hanson proves himself to be really a fine director and Steve Kloves, once again, a fine adapter. The thing drags in the last 20 minutes, but all in all it is a disarmingly good movie.
One other thing that struck me while watching the movie, was the state of disarray Michael Douglas' character's life was in. His wife has just left him, his mistress (who's husband is his boss) is pregnant, and his editor is in town to check up on the 2600-page novel he's been writing for 7 years and is nowhere near finishing. The designers did a fantastic job representing his inner chaos in the design elements.
There's a scene in which Downey has thrown a party at Douglas' house, without his permission (oh Downey - how art imitates life), at the worst possible time, and it's raining and it's late and Douglas is sitting on the front porch, surrounded by beer cans, and he has the phone out there and he's smoking weed and wearing god knows what hideous clothing and his car's been stolen and there are drunk people all around and a girl waiting to have sex with him upstairs and none of it makes a bit of difference to him. He has a mission. And the beer cans roll off the ledge and he leaves the phone off the hook and steps over people to go to bed.
And watching this, I said: That's Me.
I'm an extremely organized person. Not clean per se. Just organized. However, like those clever designers, my inner chaos has been reflected all over the fucking place. My desk here at work is literally covered in Things To Do notes and scripts and magazines and presents and CD's and crap that I am probably not going to get done in a long time. I've never had so many emails to return.
My car is a disaster area. There are CD's and tapes all the fuck over the place. It's disgustingly dirty inside and out. Someone wrote LOVE ME on my back windshield and a cat has been doing the polka with dirty paws all over my trunk. There is a large Tigger in the trunk (don't ask) and rollerblades and pants and videotapes and a skateboard. The back seat is covered in costume pieces - the floor back there serving as host to about 19 empty bottles of water and coke cans and beer cans and rose petals (again, don't ask). Under that layer, is another layer of godknowswhat documents and receipts and directions and money. Plus, I burned a huge hole in the carpet this weekend and didn't even blink.
My apartment. Oy. I've already talked about some of my design techniques. What happens is that things are unacceptable to me, and then one day they become acceptable. One day I stop hanging up the clothes, or doing the dishes, or sweeping the dining room, or opening the mail. And then the next day I don't do it either. And then that once unacceptable thing becomes perfectly acceptable. And that is what has happened. You let a little bit of chaos enter the room, and BOOM. It takes over.
What happens, though, is that at some point someone trips on the strewn clothing or brushes against the dirty car or loses an important paper on the cluttered desk, and then all of a sudden: Someone Else is Involved.
And that's where the trouble begins.
In Wonder Boys, there is an epilogue in which Michael Douglas is happily typing away in his new house with new wife McDormand and new child. So what... eight months later and he's shaven, well-dressed, happily working and in the throes of new fatherhood and husbandhood.
What stories like this fail to show you, of course, is how he gets there.
How does he begin the clean-up?
That's the fucking thing, my friend. That is the fucking thing.
...One of the worst pieces of fallout from the above chaos is this: my bank account has somehow dipped into negative numbers. This is not to say that I have no money. It is, however, to say that some checks did not get deposited. I do my banking by mail, and I imagine that after 3 years of this, the USPS has finally lost some of my checks. It couldn't be that in my grand distraction I mailed it to the wrong address or forgot to put a stamp on it or missed the mailbox slot altogether. Nah...
...So basically I have three days to get my shit together, before I head to Austin this Friday. Austin Texas. Yee-the fuck-haw.
...Saw my first IMAX film this weekend: Fantasia 2000. I know what I thought of it: what did YOU think of it?
Another Saturday Night and I ainít got nobody. I got some money Ďcause I just got paid. How I wish I had someone to talk to. Iím in an awful way. I blew in town I week ago, I ainít seen a lotta girls since then. If I could find Ďem I could get Ďem, but as yet I havenít met Ďem. Thatís why Iím in the shape Iím in... speaking of which. Another Saturday night and I ain't got no date for the TV Guide Awards. No, dude, I'm not up for one, but I would really like to attend because there's this very promising director who's working in Craft Services for the event and I have a script (I told you I write) I'd like to try to get to him. So if you have a ticket to the TV Guide Awards and need a date who once had a "Q" Rating of 47 during his Parker Lewis Can't Lose days, call me. I'm listed.
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