Why do they call it La La Land, Daddy?
I stopped by the American Film Market (AFM) late yesterday. I entered the lobby of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and stepped into a sea of film distributors, lower-tier producers and directors, and slinky “starlets.” I’m not complaining, mind you. I mean, it’s an interesting place to hang out for an hour or two; and if you do it right, it can be a good education into how the B-movie market works. But hang out I did, out by the pool, overlooking the ocean and a beautiful setting sun. I’ll tell ya, there are only a handful of things about L.A. that I truly love and sitting on the beach on a crisp fall day, watching the sun set, is one of ‘em. So there I am out by the pool...people around me were schmoozing, making deals, and smarmy types from far-flung countries were hitting on fledgling actresses. But as enjoyable as all this was (cough, cough), once that gorgeous red sun sank beneath the horizon, I was outta there. I then took a walk up to the Coffee Bean on Wilshire and 9th, parked myself at a table, and proceeded to work on a script. My buddy Craig joined me a couple hours later. We did what we always do: talked about movies, talked about writing, and talked about a road trip we’ll eventually take. At one point in our conversation, I glanced up and saw somebody I recognized coming towards us: a heavyset man with close-cropped blonde hair. Philip Seymour Hoffman, ladies and gentlemen. He sat down at a table behind us. Now this is one actor I think very highly of. If you’ve ever seen him in anything, I’m sure you’ll agree he’s pretty amazing. I loved him in Boogie Nights. I thought he made a great bad guy in Mission: Impossible III. He was heartbreaking in Love Liza. Heck, he’s always so good. Yup, Philip Seymour Hoffman...and there he was sipping flavored iced tea at a coffee house on Wilshire Boulevard. Well, I guess this is one more reason to enjoy living in La La Land.