If there’s anything Hollywood has taught us, it’s that you should never give up on your dreams. Unless what you dream of is money, power or fame. Or unless you’re a sexy lady—or, worse, a secondary character. I don’t have high hopes for the title character of Bel Ami, considering that leading man Robert Pattinson easily fits the first two categories. Plus, his ladder-climbing method involves sexing the wealthy ladies of Europe—always a risky move. He might make it to the top of the ladder, but who knows what’s there waiting for him. (I’m thinking Uma Thurman, with an anvil). Since current cinema is a direct mirror to our lives, let us examine some other reasons to keep your head down and your ambitions low. Because we don’t need another Donald Trump, guys. One Donald Trump is five too many.
I could watch the first half of this movie every day: it’s all new clothes shopping, calls on giant cell-phones and interior decorating. But you know what they say—no interior decorating goes unpunished. We all know what happens. Greed, downfall, learning to use a landline again. The second best part of this morality tale is the trajectory of its stars. Charlie Sheen dropped our collective jaw with his public marble-losing; Daryl Hannah had us rolling our eyes when she became a tree-dweller; Michael Douglas made Wall Street Two: Money Never Sleeps, and we’ve been avoiding his calls ever since.
Any modern day mobster is a highly ambitious creature. You can’t really half-ass the organized crime gig—you’ve really got to want it. Perhaps no one wanted it more than Henry Hill, AKA the world’s worst witness protection program participant. That guy wanted to win, and even if he failed spectacularly, you can’t exactly say he lost. When Scorcese says you’re cool, you’re essentially on the supreme court of awesomeness. Today, Henry Hill is a regular guest on Howard Stern and sells coffee on the Internet. Winning?
But listen, kiddo, the mob ain’t got nothing on Bette Davis. Bette Davis in anything, but particularly in this. No doe-eyed wannabe is going to steal her man, and certainly not her spotlight. If you take nothing away from this column, just remember that you do not mess with an aging diva. Even if you do win, you won’t get away with your kneecaps in tact. Her breed of crazy knows no bounds. Should you forget that, she will leave you dazed and bleeding, in a chilly pool of unflattering lighting.
Or, y’know, it might work out okie dokie! For you, that is. Everyone else’s life is down the toilet, but if you are young and naturally blonde enough, girl, don’t even worry about it. The next twenty years are a steady climb up the ladder, leaving a trail of broken men and marriages in the wake of your kitten heels. Then it’s just a Choose Your Own Adventure of senatorial wife, Fox News correspondent, or lady mob boss.
We all know that women should be barefoot and pregnant, no more than thirty feet from a working stove at all times. That’s just the natural order of things. What you don’t know—or you wouldn’t if Hollywood hadn’t reminded you—is that a working woman is just a homicide waiting to happen. A gal with a goal might as well be packing a sawed-off shotgun. And if she’s hot too? Run, brother. Take that lady shopping for a new pair of cement boots.
Need a good scream? Got an un-fixable problem? Or some really good gossip? I’m listening!
I’m about to go on a solo trip with my brother, who I hate.
First of all, killer name. Second of all, buckle up, kid! You’ve got a fun-filled flight ahead of you! Or hopefully a car trip—even better. That should be really grim. There is nothing like a station wagon filled with the memories of familial angst and bitterness. I recommend a screening of Pieces of April before hitting the road. You can fast-forward through Katie Holmes pretending she’s hardcore because she lives in a walk-up. Just watch the rest of the cast, stewing in their car ride of doom. You’ll have to feel a little better. You’re trip might be long and silent, or hysterical and screamy, but at least it won’t end at Katie Holmes’s apartment.