IT’S A NEW YEAR!! As much as I love the holidays, it’s really good to get back to business. This is gonna be a great year, too. Business-wise, I’ve got some exciting things on my plate: scripts to complete, ideas to develop, a project or two on the brink of a green light, and a whole bunch of blogs to post. On a more personal note, a very wonderful thing that’s happened to me recently was reconnecting with a fabulous young lady I dated back in the early 80s. As nice as things were between us back then, it’s all so much better now. This relationship is all very familiar, yet very new—and very exciting. Yup, my year is definitely off to an excellent start!
As for you, my blog-reading friends, I hope you all have good things going on in your own lives. I hope you all have health, happiness... and some fabulous screenplays to get completed and sent out into the world!
ENTOURAGE: REEL VS. REAL
I was in this ultra-hip bar in Hollywood last night, celebrating my friend Craig’s birthday. We were sitting at a table—I was sipping my customary cranberry juice, of course—when a man brushed past me on his way to the restroom. I glance up and noticed it was Rex Lee, the actor who plays Ari’s Gold’s assistant Lloyd on the hit HBO show Entourage. This got Craig and I talking about the show and how much we both enjoy it. Then I suddenly remembered a question that a reader to this blog asked me a few weeks ago:
“Can you elaborate on how true of a depiction the HBO show Entourage gives of Hollywood?”
I thought this was a fun question. I mean, I really enjoy the show. At first, it was a bit too raunchy for my taste, but I’ve grown to love it. (C’mon, how could I not love it? After all, it’s about the movie business!) If you’re not familiar with the show, here’s the plot summery:
In this sitcom, the suddenly risen film star Vince Chase, a jeune premier of humble origins, learns the ropes of the business and the high-profile world of the wealthy happy few in and around Hollywood, but not alone: he brings from his native New York his atypical entourage (hence the title), not glitterati or professionals, but a close circle of friends since childhood, and his agent, Ari Gold, finds they often make his job harder as the Queens boys not only sponge off the star but also have his ear, so Vince is much harder to counsel.
Yes, Vince and his entourage roam the chic restaurants, bars, and glittering palaces of Los Angeles as a constant stream of established stars, wannabes, and a bevy of beauties fill the 1:78.1 aspect ratio HBO frame. OK, so how realistic is what we see on the show? Well, based on my own personal experiences and observations...pretty accurate.
Yup, it all exists: the self-important, temperamental film director, producer, and/or cinematographer...the budding, poser actor...the fair weather associates...the arrogant, high-strung, mile-a-minute agent...the bratty, snobbish mail room hustler...the sycophantic phonies...the smarmy pseudo-studs in their (usually rented or borrowed) $300,000 sports cars...the vacuous bimbettes shopping Melrose Avenue. At one time or another I’ve known, or at least met, all of these archetypes. (I want to make something clear: there’s a high population of generous, wonderful and creative people in this town. I’m fairly confident they outnumber their counterparts by about 8 to 1. Well, maybe 7 to 1.)
I’ve also been to many of the “trendy” locales featured on Entourage. If you’ve watched even one episode, you’ll be well aware of how producers tend to fill many of their scenes with unbelievably gorgeous eye candy. For the most part, when it comes to this eye candy, I find that true life is represented fairly accurately. (Ladies, please don’t ask me about the men in this town cuz I simply don’t notice them. I just don’t.) Believe me, there are hordes of gorgeous women in this town—there’s more plastic in L.A. than you’d find in a couple dozen Mattel toy factories—but I do think the show exaggerates it all just a tad bit. For instance, if Vince and the guys are walking along a street in Santa Monica or strolling along the Venice boardwalk (both of which are situated right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean), you’ll see nothing but bodacious, bikini-clad beauties. But there’s one thing you probably won’t see: the homeless and the psychologically impaired. Ugh, it’s a bit of a mess in that part of town.
But...can you see Hollywood movers and shakers driving along Sunset Boulevard in their high-priced convertibles and SUVs, cellphone to ear, working out the details of some big film, TV, or recording deal? Yup, you sure can.
Can you have a drink at a trendy west-side watering hole and find Harrison Ford nursing a drink a mere couple chairs over? Ask my friend Craig, he’ll tell you it’s absolutely possible.
Can you go into any one of the chic restaurant/bars and find yourself sitting next to Lindsay Lohan, then a couple hours later run into Bill Murray at another chic restaurant/bar? Sure, Craig will tell you that’s totally possible.
Can you be casually strolling through a Halloween pumpkin patch one moment and caught up in a Paris Hilton/paparazzi maelstrom the next? Been there, done that.
Can you walk down a street in Beverly Hills and nearly collide with Sean Connery as he emerges from a restaurant?
I think you're gettin' my point here, aren't ya?
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