I was happy that The Onion picked one of my favorite Simpsons jokes ever as one of theirs ("Are you being ironic?" "I just don’t know any more!") But I have spent the last couple years not watching The Simpsons, so there’s much I’ve missed. Somehow I doubt the quality of the movie will change that
THE MOST INTERESTING MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Friends, Romans, Defamer readers, lend me your ears! I come here not to bury Lindsay Lohan, but to praise her. In a striking coincidence, Lindsay Lohan has faced another traumatic outing of her private life concurrently with another one of her films being released. I do not see this as any more than a twist of fate.
There was a time, not too long ago, where Lohan seemed to be emerging as a star. As a talent. With a good movie and a solid Saturday Night Live appearance behind her, she seemed to have her bearings on straight. Woe unto us that it did not last.
She had an interesting relationship with the press and paparazzi, but quickly that led to part of her downfall. Emerging from the Disney factory, she was torn between jobs that played up her youth, and tweener films, films like Just My Luck. Someone, someone smart pushed her towards working with a talent, and so she appeared, in what may be her best role for years to come, as the daughter of Meryl Streep in A Prairie Home Companion. An appearance in an Oscar hopeful (Bobby), and an Indie film (Chapter 27, which is sitting in a can somewhere) followed, but even some taste of real credibility couldn’t keep her from making Studio films of cookie cutter sensibilities. She was already difficult, and though she feebly pursued a music career (if only in name, I mean, I’m not going to buy or listen to her album), quickly her infamy and constant photographs were more prominent than her film work, or her seeming talent, to which Streep suggested she was the best actress of her generation. But her "troubled" and difficult persona continued to the point that a president of a film company made a letter public that she needed to cut the shit out.
But nothing seemed to deter her from hitting bottom. There was a pretty public "get your shit together" intervention when she reappeared on SNL. And there she sounded as if she’d been chain smoking and doing other illicit activities to the point that she was beyond repair. Rumors of her illegal habits and promiscuous ways spread like wildfire.
Let me pull back for a second: Most everyone in Hollywood has some things that would suggest bacchanalian lifestyles. Such is often the case with famous people. When considering the Roman Polanski situation, remind yourself that he was the one who got caught, and may have fled for Hollywood’s sins. You hear stories, and books are filled with all sorts of rumors and innuendos about such unbridled and unsavory acts. Some of them true, some of them not. To be taken with a grain of salt. Being famous and beautiful opens up doors, surrounded by the like, and surrounded by people offering you all sorts of substances, it should just be assumed that much of it is true. But to make a dent, to appear as someone who does that too much of this, is something of a warning sign.
But nothing seemed to keep her from her worst impulses. A star at twelve, by eighteen she was headlining films. Making money. And shortly after more famous for the photos she appeared in than the films people didn’t really care about. Before she was twenty one she was bar hoping and – dangerously at that– learned that fame superseded the law. And once she was at the legal age to actually drink, she was already headed to rehab. And now is back in it. Rumors swirled of her coke use, to actual photos of her doing it, to her current situation where it was found on her whilst she was arrested.
It is an unbelievable situation, but let us face two facts: One, that she was a child star, and like so many before her, it fucked her up good and proper. Blame the parents, blame the fame, blame what have you, this is not an unfamiliar situation for someone who got famous too young to face. All evidence points to her not having much of a childhood, or a normal one at that. Hopefully she will be more Drew Barrymoore than Dana Plato. Let it be said that – for better or worse – there is nothing all that special about this. And second, let us not forget that Lohan once held promise. Showed talent. And if she can emerge from this, emerge from her future jail time, her drug problems, she may show more. Now that she is uninsurable, to try and have a career (which, depending on her fiscal situation, she may not need) is a long road ahead, and it’s hard to say if she ever loved acting, or it was something she did because she was forced to, wanted mom’s approval, etc.
Lohan learned to crave being objectified. There is something tragic to that. And something tragically American.
She is signed on to do another picture, which she may or may not be still attached to, and may still happen. Likely it was bound to be a barely released title. I Know Who Killed Me is set to go on a little over a thousand screens, and should be off most of those in two weeks. The public now has a preconception of her, and if Jay Leno and Rob Schnieder feel comfortable making fun of you, then you’re safely considered a joke. And you can’t pull a Hugh Grant and apologize for your transgressions, because this didn’t appear to be a one time thing, even if Hugh’s wasn’t as well. He apologized for getting caught. For tarnishing his image. With Lohan the image has become the person people think she is. But if she wants it, in ten years she could be a better actress than Barrymore. Or she could be dead. Regardless, as shocking and ridiculous as her behavior has been, there is likely a deeply damaged person underneath it all. Or not.
THE MOST INTERETING INDEPENDENT OF THE WEEK
It looks like Rescue Dawn is hitting a bunch of screens, and huzzah for Herzog and his semi-revival, while Sunshine also expands. This is England supposedly opened in a couple locations on Wednesday, and that’s supposed to be well worth checking out
YOU WANT A PIECE OF MY HEART? YOU BETTER TO PREDICT FROM THE START.
Well it’s The Simpsons Movie weekend. Though people have been watching it for years, somehow this is a must see for many. I don’t get it. Perhaps they hope the change of format will bring something new to life.
Otherwise, Hairspray should hold better than Chuck and Larry, while Potter fever subsides a bit (with the help of some chicken soup), and Transformers holds well some more. No Reservations… I don’t think most women like Catherine Zeta Jones, so she’s not a good draw for a rom-com. But we shall see.
1, The Simpsons Movie – $57 Million
2. Hairspray – $18.3 Million
3. I Know Pronounce You Supa Gay – $17.5 Million
4. Harry Potter and not enough Thewlis – $17 Million
5. Transformers - $14 Million
6. No Reservations - $10 Million
And I Know Who Killed Me will likely get to $2.5 Million. Who’s Your Caddy, around $5 Million.
See you Sunday.