Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fake Dates and Capote

Last night I went on a fake date with Kim the Librarian. Prior to the "date" we decided we were going to hang out and just take any tension off having a real date. Neither of us are really going to be into really dating for awhile.

The way I knew it was a fake date was that after work I went home and promptly fell asleep on my couch with my cat, who balanced himself precariously on one of my knees. I slept until around 6:30, when Kim called to remind me we were going out and to meet her at 7. Normally my pre-date ritual is very elaborate, with me making sure every part of my body smells good and look good. In this case I threw on the clothes I'd worn to work and did some gentle frebrezing. Smelling like febreze is always the best way to snag the ladies.

I met Kim around 7ish and we drove through the awesome snow gale last night to Northampton, where we dined on some excellent Thai food. For some reason I ate like I was on a real date (which is kind of girly) but I suspect that had more to do with the pizza I'd eaten at happy hour with R-dogg and Listy. As cultured and sophisticated as I pretend to be, I will always prefer a good pizza over Thai.

After eating, Kim and I went to see the new film Capote, which Kim described as "extremely disturbing" and which I described merely as "disturbing." Maybe those differences of opinion are why we will never truly date. I just can't get past that kind of thing.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant as the immensely troubled Truman Capote. He completely encapsulates the man in a way that most actors can only dream of. There was never a moment when I thought I was watching Philip Seymour Hoffman, but knew I was watching a perfect representation of Capote.

What disturbed me so much about the film was the easy way in which Capote used his irrascible charm to manipulate people. It's clear the man was excellent at developing strong relationships with people, but ended up using those strong bonds as a means to his own ends. I can't help thinking how he could have handled the situation regarding In Cold Blood entirely different and not destroyed himself and others.

The problem was that the film had no cathartic moment for me, and even Kim said that she only felt a bit of schadenfrende when the epilogue mentioned Capote never finished another book. She said "he deserved it, the asshole." I didn't get as emotionally attached to anyone in the film.

Of course, Catherine Keener's portrayal of Harper Lee was also amazing and shouldn't be overshadowed. I knew how Capote became immensely jealous of Lee when she became famous, but I never knew the extent of it. As an English scholar, I was fascinated with the interplay between the two of them.

So a good night in general. I need to do these fake dates more often. If only they could include fake other things as well...

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