the cast

In the movie of my life, I like to think of divinity as the director.

Then I like to take things a step further, and give my particular director the personage of Sofia Coppola à la Lost in Translation.

If my saying this sounds too “tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I’d really like to meet her”, then allow me to point out that I’m referring to Sofia Coppola circa 2003, when she was just winding down from her four-year marriage to Spike Jonze. I hope I don’t need to connect the dots on this one. Let’s just say that while he might not appear in the credits, technically-speaking Spike Jonze is kind of my director too.

It explains a lot, I think.

If you’ve ever seen my life, even just a clip from it, you probably already know the truth behind what I’m saying.

Of course, even with that incredible directorial pairing, my life would be nothing were it not for a phenomenal cast. And no, I am not talking about myself here. In all honestly, I’m not even sure what my character is supposed to be doing most of the time. I’m referring primarily to the collection of women that play my friends.

I know that it doesn’t initially make sense that a character as complacently lost as I am manages to attract this superabundance of beautiful, intelligent, insightful girlfriends. But I think what must have happened is that, on the day of auditions, they all showed up wanting the role of best friend, and Sofia took one look at Spike and said, “The amount of talent in this room is unprecedented. I am going to rewrite the screenplay with roles for all of them.” And in the end it kind of does make sense, because with so many of them they can rotate; each one has an average break of two or three years, even, before she might be tag-teamed back in. Which explains how they have all been able to endure me for so long.

You see?

Anycrap, these women, I swear. Their performances are nothing short of stunning. Just one of them would have won my life a Best Supporting Actress Emmy. Much less all 16 of them. Eighteen? I don’t know. With all of them alternating all of the time they’re hard to count.

Of course, writing in all 23 of them sent my movie way over budget, so Sofia had to ask her producer-father for additional funding. Francis Ford agreed on the condition that he be allowed to violently write off almost every member of my family in the first twenty minutes of the film. And Sofia was like, “Daddy, this isn’t The Godfather! She’s not even Italian!” But in the end Francis Ford got his way, and I can’t help but comment here that his plot strategy weakens my movie. The amount of early brutality and insanity comes off as far too heavy-handed. The Ivy League sister getting thrown from a moving car and suffering retrograde amnesia? Completely overdone. I mean, come on. Puh-lease.

But on the plus side, at no point in my life have I yet crawled into bed with the severed head of a horse (touch wood).

You know what? Let’s go back to my Emmy-Award-winning friends.

Lately I’ve been wondering if perhaps the directors are using them symbolically. Is my character, perhaps, held together by nothing more than her own adaptations of these brilliant women? Is that why, when I am with the German, I find myself speaking with a slight German accent? Why, when I am with the Aussie, I find myself feeling so laid-back (read: drunk)? Why, when I am with the Brazilians, I find myself rolling around naked with strange men?

Is that why, when I am hanging out with the 20 year old, I use my fake ID?

Is that why, years ago, after spending a weekend with the twin, my then-boyfriend said, “you guys don’t look anything alike, really, but you remind me somehow of sisters…”

I just saw the twin this week, actually. She was in town and we filmed a sweet scene in my living room. I was so struck by her ethereal beauty that I completely forgot all of my lines. Truly. But luckily, I was able to wing it; I just started talking some self-absorbed nonsense. That is pretty much all my character ever does, anyway.

I am only telling you about seeing the twin because she might be reading this, and I like the idea of her freaking out about what else I might say.

(But don’t worry, sweetie. I will not say anything about Marcus and his horse.)

Hmm. I just had an idea. I would like for all of my supporting actresses to send me suggestions of stage names I can use when writing about them. That way I will be able to make fun of you for your alter-ego aspirations, and maintain your anonymity. (Plus I will then be able to tell which aren’t reading this, and write about them first, before they catch on.)

I guess the supporting actors can send me their suggestions, too (this does not include you, Professor, or you, Suicide Guy). I know that I might have made threats about pulling a shiv on some of you if you ever came near me again, but I think a lot of that was just my misguided frustration with Sofia (“Really, Sofia? My character just NEVER learns her lesson? REALLY?”). She did warn me from the beginning that most of my leading men would be B-list, and I should have known that some of you had previous involvement in the porn industry. I just needed some time to come to terms with that.

But I think now I’m mostly over it . Besides, you guys are totally what tips my movie into the category of comedy.

2 thoughts on “the cast

  1. Yes, yes, yes. I hear you on adopting the traits of friends when you’re with them. I’ve always wondered whether my doing this was a sign of my own weak character (rushing about with the pull of others’ tides) or a nod toward my most excellent adaptability (survival of the copycats). I like your idea that it’s a kind of homage to friends’ brilliance much better than either of my theories!

    When I used to waitress at a seafood joint in North Carolina, my usually-absent Southern accent crept out to play whenever I got in trouble with a table. It was never on purpose, but my subconscious must have known that almost no one can be rude to a Belle (bless our hearts).

  2. oh, how embarrassing, you’ve discovered the messy depths of my blogdom. i meant to clean things up before anyone wandered back here.

    nonetheless, really? i’ve never met anyone else who accidentally slips into accents or patterns of speech. you must be trouble (so, can you teach me how to speak like a southern belle, pretty, pretty please? i would love that!).

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