Tribeca weekend update
I chose most of my Tribeca movies based on location and time, not so much on the movies themselves. Lots of movies sounded good, but there weren't many must-sees. Saturday's movie, however, was one I really wanted to see: "Suburban Girl" (awful title) based on 2 stories from Melissa Bank's "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing" (awful-er title) which I read recently.
I loved the movie. The title sequence featured proofreading symbols, so how could I not? Sarah Michelle Gellar is a young book editor, while a pudgy Alec Baldwin (padding or actual bloviation?) becomes her older-man wildly successful editor boyfriend (but do editors, even wildly successful ones, have huge Manhattan townhouses and country retreats?). Although the actors are 19 years apart, I thought they could have gone older and more inappropriate, into Jack Nicholson territory. But otherwise I was swept up into this rendition of the New York literary world and its people and workplaces.
I wondered if Alec Baldwin would show up. He didn't, not even at the star-studded premiere the previous night. The director, a cute Jewish guy, did our Q&A and immediately said that he knew we were wondering about Alec Baldwin. The audience then proceeded to ask film-school type questions about table reads, shooting schedule, and the writing process. Come on, people! Finally someone brought up Baldwin. There was a jaw-dropping line in the movie about his character leaving a phone message for his estranged daughter (which got a big unintended laugh). The director assured us the movie wasn't made last week, but that life imitates art, or is it the other way around. Highest rating.
I was on 34th Street so I went to the main PO, then back home to run other errands. Everything on the list got done except to pick up reserved library books, which with the upcoming job I may not have time to read.
Today I overslept again, unfortunately missing "Unstrung" ("Wordplay" in the junior tennis circuit). The next movie, "Blue State," was at the Battery Park Regal, where I had been once before, to see the awful crossword film "Marathon" at Tribeca in 2002. Emerging from the Chambers Street stop at Vesey, I remembered another awful aspect about this location: it's right next to Ground Zero. Walking along the fence and seeing the huge hole and construction equipment was still unsettling.
The movie was packed (they all have been) but I found a seat near the top of the stadium-style theater. "Blue State" is about an idealistic Kerry worker (Breckin Meyer) who promises to move to Canada if Bush wins, gets offered help from a "marry-a-Canadian" organization to speed his citizenship, and finds Anna Paquin to share his expenses on the road trip. There's more to the story than this, and it was well done. Second highest rating. The fiction films have been really good this year. (But wait...)
I had to get to the next movie in the East Village, so missed the Q&A with the director. The line for the Regal ladies room was long, so I skipped that too, hoping I'd have time at the next venue. Back through the heebie-jeebies of Ground Zero to the subway. From the A to the L at 14th. I had a lot less time than I thought, and wondered if I should ditch the movie and just go home as it was getting close to the 3:30 starting time. I raced in, down 2 levels and they were still letting people into the movie. I threw my coat on a weirdly situated single seat in the back left, asked the volunteers if there was time to make a pit stop (yes!), and ran up to the ladies room and back in plenty of time to see "Normal Adolescent Behavior."
Oh boy, I should have gone home, or perhaps to see my alternate choice, "The Grand" (about poker). Maybe I'm just an old prude, but I couldn't stand this movie. Hated it, hated the situation, hated the characters. No one acted like any real person I know. In a high school where everything is sleazy hookups and sex orgies, a group of 6 old friends avoid the scene by instead having sex with each other in all combinations. Just like every high school, right? Tyler's pal Amber Tamblyn starred. The director mentioned in the Q&A that a subplot involving Amber's awkward gourmet-cooking little brother (the appealing Daryl Sabara) and the neighbor Mom had to be cut - now THAT I might have liked to see.
Beth Schacter (the director), if you're Googling, sorry. The kids may enjoy this, but I just didn't.