Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Rerun: LL Cool Jail

Since no one else will do it, I am going to step up to the plate here and say a few words in support of someone whose embattled status has made them an object of scorn, and I don't know why all this had to happen.
Speaking of Lindsay Lohan here. I happen to think that she is a very talented actress, and I base that on seeing her in two movies and around ten thousand celebrity-based "news" shows, websites and YouTube extravaganzas. In her day, she was an exceptionally lovely  young lady, and those good looks, coupled with the ability to assume a different persona as an actress, should have led her to a successful career, with professional advancement and personal contentment.

But no. Didn't happen. Young Lindsay was a child model and actress, and her first starring role as a movie actress was in the remake of "The Parent Trap," a new version of a movie that I saw as a kid myself, with Hayley Mills in the lead. Lindsay was amazing in that film, and I was not the only person who felt that she surpassed Ms Mills in playing the twin roles as separate kids, not just two kids with different accents. The fact that she was cute as a bug when she was little, and so charming in the movie, led moviegoers (and cheapskates such as I, who watched it on Encore years later) to feel that LL had a bright career path ahead.

Next time I saw her was in the movies, and Peggy and I actually went to a theater to see what I call "Mr Keillor's movie," the film version of "A Prairie Home Companion," the radio show that 90%** of the world listens to on Saturday evenings from 6 to 8 pm on a public station near you. Mr Keillor is Garrison Keillor, and he hired Lindsay to play Lola Johnson, daughter of Meryl Streep, for the movie. LL sang a great version of "Frankie and Johnnie" in the picture. Mr Keillor said that he was not really aware that she was a tabloid media sensation at the time of the filming, and said she showed up on time, knew her lines, sang her song live and got it right on the first take, and was no problem on the set at all. Ms Streep, who for all her greatness does occasionally fall back on the arcane jargon of her trade, was quoted as saying, "She's in command of the art form" and "completely, visibly living in front of the camera."  Which is like having Jimi Hendrix say that you can play a guitar pretty well, or Bing Crosby attesting to your singing ability.

Maybe Lindsay should spend more time in front of movie cameras and less in front of snappin' paparazzi, because her talent is really wasted lately. Let's be honest: it appears that she became a drug and alcohol abuser , and those wondering why need look no further than her mixed-up family life. Her mother is a former Rockette who pushed her kids into show business, her father has substance abuse and criminal problems of his own, and Lindsay was probably the grown-up of the family by the time she turned 11. Seems to me that a kid can only handle so much of that pressure before they crack under it, and so many times you see kids living in an all-adult world making money in a year that most adults won't make in a career, and they are pushed from all sides until they finally come out, broken and messy. It would appear that LL broke, fell in with fast companions, partied it up til Tuesday, and now this. She failed to attend enough of the alcohol diversion classes she was sent to by the court following a DWI arrest, and so she was hauled into court. Except, she failed to appear in court and sent her mouthpiece to the hearing with a lame excuse about LL's passport being stolen, and she's stuck in France. And then Saturday, whoops, here's the passport, here comes Lindsey home, and she goes to the hearing and pitches a fit because she will have to wear a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor, better known as a SCRAM anklet. And her attorney tries to tell the judge that LL is making a movie and having to wear the unsightly monitor will hold up production, especially on those shots where camera lovingly pans the ankles of the star. And of course, if she can't drink without the telltale tale-teller strapped to her ankle...

Lindsay. You don't know me, but I like your acting and I think you still have something to offer to the world. And the great part of writing this is knowing that you're about as likely to see it as I am about to see any of the SAW movies, but I send this thought to you across the miles...Look down at that monitor. It's on your ankle, right above your Achilles heel, and for you, that should serve as reminder of the many figurative Achilles heels that are sending you to hell on earth right now. Forget the family weirdness, the fake friends, the booze, the drugs, the all-night lifestyle. Be the actress you were born to be. If there's a Prairie Home Companion II or a Parent Trap, Junior, I will be there and so will Peggy, and there's your comeback ticket.

The great philosopher Mr Lou Diamond Phillips said, "Stars don't fall from the sky." Prove it!

**rough estimate based on what I wish was true.

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