Friday, March 23, 2007

I (Heart) Lily Tomlin

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When I first saw Lily Tomlin in David O. Russell's "Flirting With Disaster" I was blown away that someone would cast her as a burned out old hippie in New Mexico married to Alan Alda and running a meth lab in the basement. I mean, it's so surreal, how could you not love that?

I have yet to see "I (Heart) Hucakabees", but only because it's not ten years old yet. That's about how long it takes me to get around to seeing these things. I think, though, I'll go out on payday and pick it up. If only because news of tension on the set has suddenly exploded all over the Internet, and at YouTube especially, and because I wanted to see it anyway, and now I have a reason. These two scenes are suddenly fraught with subtext, which may be what the director was going for all along.

I've always loved Lily Tomlin, mainly because she seems to be so commonsensical and calm, in a world ruled by temperament. David O. Russell, on the other hand, comes off as an asshat. In the old days, news of tension on this set and that set were transmitted by whispers. So and so knows the cousin of the hairdresser, and told me... Like that. Nowadays, everyone has a Panaflex built into their Blackberry, and as a result we are all of us expected to be ready for our closeup at a moment's notice; except that none of these people is exactly Cecil B. deMille.

I know well the effects of bullying, and they show in Miss Tomlin's behaviour, especially in the scene in the car. A person can only take so much before they lash out, and here Lily has had enough. I won't embed them here, because I don't condone this kind of behaviour (even - or especially - when it's me), but I will link to them, for as long as they're up.

In the first one (and I don't know if this scene came earlier than the other - it's just my guess) Lily is still quite calm. In the second is where she really loses it. I mean, she's lashing out at Dustin Hoffman, which is a bit like kicking a puppy: you don't do it unless you're really pissed off, and maybe not even then.

The comments at YouTube are pretty predictable. "The fucking Jew hag had it coming to her" is typical for the troglodytes who frequent the comments section. Apparently, a grown man shouting "Act like a grownup" while having a temper tantrum is alright, though. Still, I gotta love the 'Tube, and I still (heart) Lily Tomlin.
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lcdseattle said...

I too 2.9 the Lily. I've loved her since Laugh-In. The Incredible Shrinking Woman and Big Business are probably my favorite Lily movies. A class act and always true to herself and her craft.

michael sean morris said...

"All Of Me" is one of my favourite movies - I saw it eight times in the theatre. I watch her episode on the first season of SNL all the time, thanks to DVD. She was great on Sesame Street in those Edith Ann things, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe", Mrs. Beasley... If she puked on my shoes I'd bronze it, because everything that comes out of her mouth is priceless.

Let's not forget that she owes alot of it to a great writer and partner, Jane Wagner.

(sigh!) I wish I could meet a guy who'd be my muse for the rest of our lives.