I’m starting to cool down on my Facebook journey. It was very fun and I loved seeing all the people that I hadn’t had around me in so long but a few things happened that made me feel a little Big Brotherish. One is that I realized there are people who check for you just because you are linked to someone else. That creeps me out. There was a time when a girl could just do a little three way call to her current/ex, having her girl just talk to him to find out details about what he was up to (guilty of that one in high school). And that was fine. There was a harmless air of mystery to it and you went on your merry way. Or, if there was a family member that was particularly, um, sketchy, you could just unlist your phone number and life was wonderful. You could even write one of your homegirls off for something she’d done that was unforgivable and the only contact she had with you was through your mutual girls, whom you could shut down easily. But Facebook has changed all that. Now, ex girlfriends can look at your man’s pictures. Family members can read your blogs (family members you didn’t even think knew how to operate a computer!). Folks you don’t acquaint yourself with, for whatever reason, can do internet mind games on you or be passive aggressive. It’s kind of scary.
I’m trying to think if I preferred keeping my memories of people where they were: compartmentalized in a little attic of my brain, pulling them out and dusting them off when I wanted. Maybe I preferred thinking that the one who was particularly awful to me at one point would just be the person they were instead of finding out they had a come to Jesus and turned their lives around. Or maybe I’m happy that they did. Can I be happy they did and not really want to know anything else? Perhaps there are old teachers I don’t really want to hear from anymore seeing as how all we had in common was my 8th grade science project. Normally I’m a very good small talker. As a playwright, I can pull some words together like nobody’s business. But this new forum is a little daunting. What is internet small talk? When somebody from third grade asks what you’ve been up to, how do you sum up twenty five years? When I try, I start to sound like my parents did when they ran into low level acquaintances at the bank. “I’m hanging in there.” “Keep on keeping on.” “Ain’t nothing going on but the rent.” I’m not even trying to be cool and bring back retro slang. I just don’t know what else to say. I’m working on a book about some parts of my life and when that’s finished I can say, “Read the book!” But what do I do in the meantime?
All this time we thought time travel would come in some kind of tube with some Bill and Ted type gadgets. Who knew that we could be present and in the past at the same time?
That corner right there? That’s my view of the 60s. Then all that shit starting hitting the fan. Crazy people killing people. Perhaps that’s why we have no leaders anymore. They are all afraid of that moment. But I digress. I love seeing young people of the 60s deciding that they didn’t want to die at war (because dying is not Patriotic—loving your country is and they are not always the same thing, dammit) and doing something about it. Let me repeat that. I love seeing young people of the 60s deciding that they didn’t want to die at war and doing something about it. Not just white kids. Not just black kids. Not just brown kids. All kids. When was the last time we had that movement? Don’t bring up isolated incidents like the Million Man March or the Latino Freedom Marches. I’m digressing again.
Back to “Bobby.”
Let’s play six degrees of Emilio Estevez since that’s basically the cast of the movie:
Demi Moore – former fiancée
Ashton Kutcher – former fiancée’s husband
Lindsay Lohan – friends with former fiancée’s kids
Martin Sheen – father
Harry Belafonte – underused amazing activist/actor who needs no degree connection
Jacob Vargas – in movie with Laurence Fishburne called “The Death and Life of Bobby Z”
Laurence Fishburne – Morpheus is your father, Neo (I actually just wanted to say that always). Laurence was in “Cadence” with Emilio’s brother, Charlie, and father, Martin, who is in this movie
Sharon Stone – was in Martin Scorsese movie “Casino.” Martin Sheen auditioned for Scorsese to be Michael in the “The Godfather.”
Shia LaBeouf – best known for his foray into acting via Project Greenlight (courtesy of Miramax then—”Bobby” is courtesy of the new Miramax—The Weinstein Company) for Matt and Ben who could be Charlie and Emilio if you squint hard and give Emilio some boxes to stand on
Joy Bryant – After seeing 50 Cent’s movie, Emilio was moved to tears by Joy’s incredible ability to make us believe 50 is straight. (I made that up)
William H. Macy – You’d be a fool not to have him in a movie. Just in general.
Christian Slater – I’m sure they used to “party” together. I hope you all know what “party” means…
Brian Geraghty – he used to be a surf instructor. Emilio lives in California. You do the math.
Joshua Jackson – I think Emilio lived down the street from Dawson’s Creek. Kidding. Was in Scream #2 with Heather Graham. Emilio’s brother, Charlie, was in the bootleg Scream movies, Scary Movie 3 & 4.
Heather Graham—was in Swingers which was a Miramax company then. Also was in Scream #2 with Joshua. I’m almost sure there’s somebody in this cast that she’s dated.
Helen Hunt – Perhaps really wanted to get a role where she could kiss Martin Sheen? She did move to New York to do serious roles a few years ago…this is serious.
Elijah Wood – he and Emilio are the same height. I swear.
Anthony Hopkins – if Jay Z can come out of retirement, so can the Sir.
Nick Cannon – I saved this for last. Because I have no idea. Not only can Nick Cannon NOT act, he is the worst looking Freedom Worker I’ve ever seen.
Now back to my review.
I really really love the story line. Because it’s really true. There was a Bobby Kennedy who was focused on cleaning up our air, getting us out of the war and addressing poverty in this country. Kids, this was before it was all a campaign ploy! I promise. Emilio told us in his speech that when he screened this in front of the foreign press, they loved it because they said it reminded them of the America that everyone loved. I totally agree with them. You right wingers can kid yourself into thinking that you don’t care if nobody likes us but you know in your heart you are lying. Everyone wants to be liked. We are not liked. Why? It’s simple, we are not taking care of business at home. If your house is dirty, so is your life. Period.
There were too many characters in the movie. I love you, Emilio but Robert Altman you are not. I get the whole desire to use every character’s personal connection at the end of the movie, but it really would have been fine with maybe four characters and not like twelve.
Things I loved about “Bobby”:
Demi Moore – how can you not love a drunken lounge singer who coos “Louie Louie” after a bottle of scotch and wearing a wig that literally is the size of my car?
Documentary bits – I felt as though I’d never really HEARD Bobby Kennedy before. These speeches are works of art. They are genius. We lost a man who gave a shit. If you put this guy up next to Bushy, your heart will break. In a million pieces.
Acid Trip – Shia and Brian are GENIUS almost when they trip the whole day on acid instead of knocking on doors for Kennedy. I mean very cute, not genius.
Simon and Garfunkel – absolute lovely to put this duo’s classic “The Sounds of Silence” over Kennedy’s California win speech. Just moving.
The Roosevelt Hotel—Man was that place grand. I mean GRAND. It sucks that I live down the street from its demolished skeletal burial ground. But how could it ever have come back after being the site of one of the most tragic events of the 60s? Then again, the Audubon Ballroom is still standing after Malcolm‘s murder. But they actually have a memorial. I’m not sure if The Roosevelt was strong enough to withstand that.
The end – The death of that corner that I wrote about above. So many things contributed to that death, mind you, but this is one of the contributing factors of the death of the belief that we can change. We are all still in mourning forty years later. I believe that.
Things I did not love about “Bobby”:
Ensemble — The sad part of using so many great actors is that there is a very very slim chance you will use them all to the fullest. I do not feel they were used to the fullest. I mean you have Anthony Hopkins and Harry Belafonte together in a scene and they just play old men who play chess and feel old. EGADS!
Motown – Sharon Stone flipping on the radio to play some Motown just to let us know she’s a cool ass white chick hairdresser is not organic. I try to flip on the radio to show how cool I am and all I get are car ads, or news. I’m a nerd.
Nick Cannon – You shan’t act ever again in my world.
Character Arcs – They were so subtle because there wasn’t enough room to let them have one. I see where you’re going, Emilio. It’s gonna work on the next ensemble film you do, I think. But for this one, it left me feeling slightly indifferent. For example, when did Christian Slater’s character get nice? Or was he ever nice? Or were you subtly trying to say that William H. Macy’s character stereotyped him while Christian stereotyped the Mexicans? The lines could’ve been a bit cleaner.
This movie was a valiant effort. Emilio cut his justice loving wrist and bled out the best film he could do. The flaws are flaws of most films but the message and the passion behind this movie is what moved me most. And if you don’t cry when the idiot shoots Bobby (come on, like you didn’t know the end, history loser), then you HAVE to be bawling when Aretha and MJB sing the credits song.
I went to the after party and felt like an idiot because I had to go alone (they only gave me one ticket). I watched famous people walk past me with their entourages. Funny. Faye Dunaway (whom I love because we share a birthday and because she is BONNIE from Bonnie & Clyde—to which there’s a reference in the movie…ha! Clever…) is the smallest person in the world. Demi looks normal in low level hotel light. Ashton is not gigantic but a regular dude who’s six three. Like you don’t know any. Helen Hunt wasn’t bothered at all and I admired that. She was able to eat and chat with her friends without bulbs.
I left after twenty minutes because I think I stumbled in to the “hot” room by accident and couldn’t find a corner to chill in.
Your shoes hated me that night. Thanks. Thanks so much.