for 16 January 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves
In my opinion "All About Eve" is a better story and movie. It is unsentimental and more true to life than the silly woman good man bad wishful thinking of Terry McMillan preaching to the converted.
Well, Colin, I have a feeling that if we start arguing about whether A Star Is Born beats All About Eve we're going to end up looking like a couple of drag queens having a bitchfight outside David's Potbelly Stove.
I do think if you take a fresh look at the Gaynor/March Star or for that matter even the Garland/Mason version you'll find it's a lot hipper, darker and more artful than it gets credit for especially, maybe, because it's a can-do success story rather than a satire of show business vanities.
So, How Stella Got Her Groove Back isn't actually about international sex tourism? Going black on the perennial Star is Born is an excellent idea, though--did you see that Samuel Raphelson, plawright of the original Sabrina, had recommended that Sabrina be African-American for the Harrison Ford remake? Such a tactic would have sharpened the theme of snobbery.
One thing about all this. is that the original novel seems to have been inspired by the John Gilbert/Greta Garbo romance; Gilbert, a heavy drinker, used to love to bring his personal problems to work after a fight with Her Majesty ("She wouldn't sleep with me last night," he'd tell aquaintences at the studio.) After a rocky career in the talkies, Gilbert "drowned" in a sea of booze, which, to make the metaphor clearer, he walked straight into.
Also, the book Monster by J.G. Dunne tells of how the Jessica Savitch story was transformed in the movie making: from cautionary tale of no-talent newscaster who has one too many, drives car backwards into a canal bordering picturesque New Hope, Pennsylvania. After multiple rewrites which, it is implied, drove Dunne to cardiac problems, "Up Close and Personal" turns out to be A Star is Born (again). Which Dunne and wife Joan Didion had previously scripted for Miss Streisand...
Keep up the good work,
Richard von Busack
Was there an original novel? I thought the whole original movie was Selznick's idea. If there's a novel please let me know what it is.
What about the most significant ASiB-oid marriage?: Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman. In that case, rather than die after becoming a semi-washed-up boozer, RR just became a dissolute lout until he got a personality transplant from a [post?-] "Donovan's Brain" Nancy, but until then it fitted the pattern admirably.
You must have missed the outtakes from the 1937 ASIB, in which Fredric March turns into a drooling old coot and gets a pin put in his broken hip. It happened after he tried to drown himself in the Pacific. Big wave. It's in the director's cut.
Twenty for time at a beach house. Great idea.
You forgot the other option though: Other people's families. Did that one once. The blender was plugged in five minutes into the house. Beautiful moment when one of the elders did nothing but sip, add more mix, blend, sip, add more ice, sip, etc. just to rile his mate. It worked. I think he broke the damn thing fifteen minutes later. We had to switch to beer, limes optional. Shame, they were really really good margaritas. This was just before I was reintroduced to how stinging nettles felt on my legs.
Other people's families are usually more fun at weddings too. The pressure's off. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Hey, look, free vodka! Sit-down dinner! A fourteen year old dj! No chicken fingers to be found, finally. Not as fun as scraping resin off of the timeshare's glass topped wicker table with one of those brass clamshells that always hang on the wall, I suppose.
Back to the topic. House on stilts or house on the ground? House on ground. Absolutely. Stilts? That means there's a boat around. Love watching boats especially shrimping boats at night. Hate being in them. No boats. No sir. Stairs too. No stairs. Uh-uh. Nicer to simply stumble out to the beach along the boardwalk and rejoin the ocean on your own terms than risk a sudden drop, no?
Interesting writing style, Matt. I'm gonna have to go with the house on stilts, though. At beaches in North Carolina, at least, hurricanes are common enough that you really don't want to be stuck in a house without stilts, boat or no boat. I do agree about the boat thing, though. I don't mind sailboats in the sun, moving at a steady clip, but overcast and stuck on a sand bar with your friend's parents, whose sailing skills appear questionable at best, shouting orders that include words like "jib" and "bow" and "stern"? Plus, it kind of stinks down below, and they always hand out sandwiches made of Wonder Bread and yellow mustard. Let's not even discuss motor boats slamming over wakes with some drunk teenager at the wheel. Yuck.
Spoiled and wimpy,
regarding this week's filler:
1. I met this woman named anita at a new years eve party and i've had a hard time tracking her down since. think it's on purpose? I'm pretty sure i asked her out, but the nondenominational party punch I was sipping politely has fogged my recollection. do you happen to know her?
2. cello or piano? i mean, if you had to pick.
3. a friend of mine is going to the czech republic to meet his in-laws for the first time. he's leaving this saturday for prague. i'm having him pick me up a new tshirt from Jo's Bar. do you need one, too?
keep up the good...uh...the good...well, you know.
1. Anita Hanjub? I do know her. Listen, I hate to be old-fashioned, but it's up to you to track her down. She's probably thinking you weren't serious about going out. Honestly, you men are so bad at following up, you're like cats. You're fixated on one thing like the world depends on it, and then a fly buzzes by and you're gone.
2. Piano. When I was seven, I spent three hours straight playing my grandmother's piano we didn't have one. I wrote a song called "Think Deep." I'm not kidding.
3. Jo's Bar, huh? Gee, is that like the new Hard Rock Cafe? I couldn't give a fuck, but hey, thanks for thinking of me.