Thursday, January 27, 2011
DIANE- The Little Dog Laughed (Douglas Carter Beane)
The beginning. Well, beginnings are always beautiful. Beginnings are-- OK-- do you know Breakfast at Tiffany's? The film, not the novella. I know, there's a novella, who knew? The beginning. Audrey Hepburn, the most beautiful person ever. Gets out of the cab. In Givenchy. Quadruple strand of pearls. And she walks to a window of Tiffany's. Again with the beautiful. And then the melody "Moon River" wafts in. Start with me. The beauty quotient is excessively high. Then beautiful Audrey Hepburn is sneaking into her Upper East Side townhouse away from the not-so beautiful older man, but the running away part is beautiful. And then. But then. Then the unspeakable happens. Mickey Rooney. Mickey Rooney in full-on novelty Hirohito glasses and buck teeth and-- (She imitates Mickey Rooney's Asian acting.) "Missy Goritry!!! I must plotest!!!" (Back to her own voice.) And we can never recover. She can gab on and about the mean reds and the cat not having a name, but. Sorry. It's too late. The beginning has been irrevocably ruined. But I digress. We're in New York, which we of Los Angeles love, accepting awards from critics, which we love even more so. My client, a rising young movie star who suffers from a slight... recurring case of homosexuality, informs me-- that as his date, are you possibly seated for this? As his date to this award ceremony, he would like to bring his mother. So that no one will know that he's gay? So I throw a flame retardant blanket on this potential brush fire, and volunteer myself as his date. I'm lesbian, he's a fag, we're in show business, we're a perfect couple. So we walk down the carpet, the flash of cameras. And I see his delight and warmth grow and flourish. The unmistakeable moment when the outcast is allowed indoors. And all it takes is a little deception. Later, during one of the inevitable moments of introspection that inevitable happen during an award ceremony, as I wonder just how much of my life has been spent sitting in these same ole gold bamboo chairs, I realize that my evening's date is leaving our table and strolling towards the dais. He has won. His acceptance speech is inspired. Yes, there is a slight stumble when he forgetst to thank the screenwriter who is credited and has just accepted the award not ten minutes prior and, oops, does thank the writer he brought onto the project. But-- who cares, it involves screenwriters. And at the end. The part where the name of a deceased parent, a recent world horror or a terribly popular co-star is evoked-- he calls to me, choked with emotion, and extends an open palm. "To Diane," my client states, significant tears finding their lazy way down his derma-braised face. "the woman who taught me... how to love. And how... to dream." And then. The silence. The vaccuum of doubt. The utter disbelief that pansy actually went there. But a roomful of show business professionals quickly recovers. Remembering that there are cameras everywhere, surely one of which will be broadcasting this moment because there are movies tars involved, the room obligingly produces a smattering of polite applause. And then, the realization that indeed, a dream must be kept alive, so-- Peter Pan to little fairy Tinkerbell's defense, the room bursts, no, explodes into applauding and cheering. And he walks down, presents his award to me, holds me in his masculine arms and kisses me full on the lips. And here's the part that is so luscious. I'm actually touched. I really like him, and he likes me and he's said that to everyone. And that kind of menas something. Later when I'm in my hotel and watching one of the inevitable rebroadcasts of the event, my only wish-- is that when he announced our love, I didn't have such a look on my face of fucking shock.