We’re inundated by Hollywood imagery everywhere we go: billboards, supermarkets, television and of course, the movies. No matter how much we love its products or despise its prevalence, it is undeniably compelling. It’s glamorous and decadent, although beset by the trappings of celebrity. We don’t have monarchs in this country, but we don’t need them: we have Brangelina. Hollywood, for what it’s worth is the closest we get to royalty.
Or at least I had imagined it that way, but when you’re sitting one row behind Morgan Freeman’s balding spot, the whole mystique about it gets, well, demystified.
I won’t deny the excitement curling my toes as I walked into the Arclight’s Cinerama Dome for the premiere of The Bucket List, a film about two finely aged men played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, who are dying of cancer and decide that in their final year of life, they are going to do everything they never did - i.e. have a few thrills. Thrills for them: flying in private jets, visiting the Taj Mahal, scouting Egyptian pyramids and climbing Everest. Thrill for me: unlimited free popcorn.
There was a light buzz in the air as whispers, handshakes and hugs trumped using the blackberry; because, you know, everyone is here—and the blackberry can wait. As the sold-out crowd ushered into the theater (that bears a striking resemblance to a science planetarium) things were like they always are at the movies: dark, quiet, the audience anticipating the curtain.
Director Rob Reiner did a quick intro before the screening about how laughable it was to sell a film for $45 million about “two old guys dying of cancer” and after having seen the film, which was really nothing more than a star vehicle for its leads with exquisite CGI backdrops, I can think of a few better ways to spend that sum. Like on the party…
Boulevard 3 on the Sunset Strip, framed by stretch limos and besuited men in black guarding the gate, was a choice venue for the swanky winter scene: trim trees with colored leaves lined the entryway, flanked by intimate cabanas with plush couches and heat lamps. Blonde ladies greeted guests at the door, wine trays in hand, so no one had to move more than a few inches before pressing a glass between their fingers.
Inside the more sparsely decorated warehouse, 8 buffet stations encircled an open atrium where industry people crushed together, celebrating the film, celebrating each other.
John Mayer huddled into a booth with the ever-bespectacled Jack, and that moment was the first and last glimpse I saw of the stars at the party.
“So does anybody say what they really think about the film at these things?” I casually asked the gentleman standing next to me.
“That depends who you’re talking to,” he said.
Oh royalty: it’s so nice to sit on your throne and hear people call you, “Your Majesty.” Off with his head if any man disagree!