Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Human Cocktail

Sex in the City. This year’s Pretty Woman? But that was Cinderella… So what have we got? A glass slipper parallel, at the end, I'll concede...…but not even hunky fantasy/cheap romance sex and cheating like Unfaithful. Murder. What do we get with the girls’ film of the decade… a margarita and an umbrella? Cute little dildo and vibrator references? A little diarrhea. But here’s the thing.. .the fairy-tale stuff is all stirred around— like mud…too many myths, too many designers… too much food, too much crap… too many boring characters…if there were 5 girls and 6 weddings I’d be snoring. No bad girls. How about the real deal? Any film that takes its inspiration from television is not going to cut it, no matter how many 40-episode dvd box sets sell. It’s boring, it’s filtered, it’s fake, it’s a wilted bouquet and stale dollhouse cake.

And what is real? Eating disorders, credit card debt…girls who slice themselves, nailbiting? Bulimia? I wrote a novel about eating disorders and my agent said she felt like throwing up before the end of the first chapter. Come on… you can’t have a love story without puking. We’re all so over it. Maybe the agent would have preferred 300 pages of those pathetic SITC one-liners that made me look stealthily left and right to reassure myself someone else was rolling their eyes or snorting. The ones that made me want to disguise myself on the way out because even the popcorn was sickening and my date thought I had an attitude. I wanted to hear some antidote Sex Pistols. I couldn’t wait to get back to my messy flat with the guitars people actually play and the drilled-out bathroom.

The whole thing was like a cinematic Quaalude. I’m sick of saying botox. I’m sick of listening to my friends need a Xanax or a latte or some other antidepressant or syndrome. Lyme Disease. Chronic fatigue. Zoloft… Paxil. A little Dexedrine. Lovelier thoughts, Michael…isn’t that what Mary Martin said in the film of that decade, 50 years back? The one with flying and fairydust and Pirates and transsexuals? Not to mention songs.

I had to talk to my son’s Psych this morning.. yes he has one, just like a rich person, because he cuts school and doesn’t do homework. A Medicaid Psych who’s put him on ‘meds’, as they abbreviate it, like the ‘babe’ version of drugs. He talked to me for like 3 minutes and commented that I was 'all over the place'. Yes, I own that I’m an unfocused wreck compared to those Sex in the City Girls. I don’t wax and no straight man I've ever known was more interested in the presentation than the meal. Okay, I speak too fast and too much and I quickfire. But the guy actually suggests, after 3 minutes of phone dialogue….has anyone ever told you that you’re the genetic origin of your son’s ADHD? Have you considered Dexedrine? It would make you a more effective mother. I’m sure, I replied, I’d be anorexic and a quicker ironer. Actually, I don’t iron because I like creases and why should my shirt be less wrinkled than my face. What the hell, I mean, there should be some kind of allowable ratio there.. --Definitely ADHD, he remarks. Hostile, too.

So… to my various neuroses and failures and frustrations and the daily abuse I swallow from my son along with Fish oil and calcium so I won’t lose my mind and my skeleton simultaneously, let’s sprinkle in a little Dexedrine to my own Human Cocktail…shake, stir…whatever… just pour it on… and if I get a little shaky and decide to throw in a few Xanax or good old fashioned Valium, I might be able to sit through a screening of Sex in the City without squirming like an ADHD middle-aged woman with a non-medicated brain.

Tell me… does the massive popularity of SITC signify simply fashion-obsession or a new standard for women? Will transsexuals have to abandon their Cher and Judy Garland personae for Sarah Jessica Parker or Kim Catrell? Is there anything iconic or unique? But isn’t that the point? From the sublime to the well-dressed generic? A film, like that Ya Ya one, to celebrate sisterhood, but the New York City everywoman kind? An actual movie theatre experience which mimics..yes, television. Only one step removed.
And... if each of the characters were a cocktail… don’t get me started on this mindgame.

So, Dr. ADHD, here's my recipe: hold the Dexedrine and the vermouth and pass me a mouth-opener. Straight up. Chill and then drink until you puke, like on those other brilliant reality shows that are sure to become a full-length feature at some point in our dim Hollywood future.

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