damn, i want Penelope Cruz
there is nothing like being 26 years old and going to the movies with your parents.
on a Saturday night. when it’s still light out. this is especially true, if the movie features a scene with P. Cruz & Scar-Jo making out.
this past saturday night, mom, dad, me, & lil’ sis, trekked out to the theater in Northfield, New Jersey (never heard of it? it’s “down the shore!”). we got there at 7:00 pm for an 8:00 pm show. “we can’t be late,” says daddy s. “there will be a line.” (did i mention that daddy s. has a little infatuation with Scar-Jo?)
and how right he was. however, what daddy s. failed to tell me is that the line would not be made up of beautiful women, artists, or counter-culture hedonists. Rather, the line would be made up of AARP-carrying Jews like daddy s. himself! The only reason that there was a line at this theater in Northfield, in other words, is due to the bedtime of the general audience.
I’m not sure what you’ve read about Woody Allen’s new film. Maybe you haven’t read anything. Maybe you’ve read about it in Variety, the Village Voice, [insert your favorite movie review here - Jack Garner @ the D&C?].
Do you know what those reviews all forget to state?
IF YOU ARE UNDER 40, YOU WILL (MOST LIKELY) BE ONE OF THE TEN YOUNGEST PEOPLE IN THE THEATER.
Who knows. Maybe it’s just ’cause I saw the movie at a theater in Northfield, New Jersey.
But, there’s something so Woody Allen-esque about an audience made up of retired Jewish parents/grandparents (seriously, if i sold coupons for Depends, i could’ve made a fortune) going to see a movie – at the jersey shore! – that pays homage to the alternative lifestyles of threesome-loving expats & suicidal beauties & catalan thesis-writers.
As I waited in line, my thoughts drifted to that famous scene from annie hall when woody & diane are waiting in line at the movie theater.
The Geriatric posse, who by the looks of ‘em (yes, stereotyping) were dedicated Woody Allen fans, probably could’ve appreciated this analogy. they just haven’t realized that they’ve grown to embody the “Man in Line.”
INT. THEATER LOBBY. A lined-up crowd of ticket holders waiting to get into the theater, Alvy and Annie among them. A bum of indistinct chatter can be heard through the ensuing scene. MAN IN LINE (Loudly to his companion right behind Alvy and Annie) We saw the Fellini film last Tuesday. It is not one of his best. It lacks a cohesive structure. You know, you get the feeling that he's not absolutely sure what it is he wants to say. 'Course, I've always felt he was essentially a-a technical film maker. Granted, La Strada was a great film. Great in its use of negative energy more than anything else. But that simple cohesive core ... Alvy, reacting to the man's loud monologue, starts to get annoyed, while Annie begins to read her newspaper. ALVY (Overlapping the man's speech) I'm-I'm-I'm gonna have a stroke. ANNIE (Reading) Well, stop listening to him. MAN IN LINE (Overlapping Alvy and Annie) You know, it must need to have had its leading from one thought to another. You know what I'm talking about? ALVY (Sighing) He's screaming his opinions in my ear. MAN IN LINE Like all that Juliet of the Spirits or Satyricon, I found it incredibly ... indulgent. You know, he really is. He's one of the most indulgent film makers. He really is- ALVY (Overlapping) Key word here is "indulgent." MAN IN LINE (Overlapping) -without getting ... well, let's put it this way ... ALVY (To Annie, who is still reading, overlapping the man in line who is still talking) What are you depressed about? ANNIE I missed my therapy. I overslept. ALVY How can you possibly oversleep? ANNIE The alarm clock. ALVY (Gasping) You know what a hostile gesture that is to me? ANNIE I know-because of our sexual problem, right? ALVY Hey, you ... everybody in line at the New Yorker has to know our rate of intercourse? MAN IN LINE - It's like Samuel Beckett, you know- I admire the technique but he doesn't ... he doesn't hit me on a gut level. ALVY (To Annie) I'd like to hit this guy on a gut level. The man in line continues his speech all the while Alvy and Annie talk. ANNIE Stop it, Alvy! ALVY (Wringing his hands) Well, he's spitting on my neck! You know, he's spitting on my neck when he talks. MAN IN LINE And then, the most important thing of all is a comedian's vision. ANNIE And you know something else? You know, you're so egocentric that if I miss my therapy you can think of it in terms of how it affects you! MAN IN LINE (Lighting a cigarette while he talks) Gal gun-shy is what it is. ALVY (Reacting again to the man in line) Probably on their first date, right? MAN IN LINE (Still going on) It's a narrow view. ALVY Probably met by answering an ad in the New York Review of Books. "Thirtyish academic wishes to meet woman who's interested in Mozart, James Joyce and sodomy." (He sighs; then to Annie) Whatta you mean, our sexual problem? ANNIE Oh! ALVY I-I-I mean, I'm comparatively normal for a guy raised in Brooklyn. ANNIE Okay, I'm very sorry. My sexual problem! Okay, my sexual problem! Huh? The man in front of them turns to look at them, then looks away. ALVY I never read that. That was-that was Henry James, right? Novel, uh, the sequel to Turn of the Screw? My Sexual ... MAN IN LINE (Even louder now) It's the influence of television. Yeah, now Marshall McLuhan deals with it in terms of it being a-a high, uh, high intensity, you understand? A hot medium ... as opposed to a ... ALVY (More and more aggravated) What I wouldn't give for a large sock o' horse manure. MAN IN LINE ... as opposed to a print ... Alvy steps forward, waving his hands in frustration, and stands facing the camera. ALVY (Sighing and addressing the audience) What do you do when you get stuck in a movie line with a guy like this behind you? I mean, it's just maddening! The man in line moves toward Alvy. Both address the audience now. MAN IN LINE Wait a minute, why can't I give my opinion? It's a free country! ALVY I mean, d- He can give you- Do you hafta give it so loud? I mean, aren't you ashamed to pontificate like that? And-and the funny part of it is, M-Marshall McLuhan, you don't know anything about Marshall McLuhan's...work! MAN IN LINE (Overlapping) Wait a minute! Really? Really? I happen to teach a class at Columbia called "TV Media and Culture"! So I think that my insights into Mr. McLuhan-well, have a great deal of validity. ALVY Oh, do yuh? MAN IN LINE Yes. ALVY Well, that's funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here. So ... so, here, just let me-I mean, all right. Come over here ... a second. Alvy gestures to the camera which follows him and the man in line to the back of the crowded lobby. He moves over to a large stand-up movie poster and pulls Marshall McLuban from behind the poster. MAN IN LINE Oh. ALVY (To McLuban) Tell him. MCLUHAN (To the man in line) I hear-I heard what you were saying. You-you know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing. ALVY (To the camera) Boy, if life were only like this!