Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Adolescent angst, both imaginary and real

So I rented Twilight, just to see what's popular with the young people nowadays. I've seen a lot of people ragging on it, and of course others love it, so I watched it myself and ...

I didn't hate it.

Okay, the "being a young girl in love is like being with a vampire" metaphor isn't exactly new, but Edward and Bella aren't Angel and Buffy. Bella has absolutely zero chance of kicking Edward's ass. She is completely dependent on him staying hopelessly and ridiculously in love with her.

What I liked about the movie is the presentation of the painful shyness of sensitive adolescents, most especially Bella, but also several of her friends. I don't see that much of that in my community college students, but I have tutored high school kids, and sometimes I see a little of that with them.

Switching over to real life angst of the young, Keisha Castle-Hughes was the star of the 2002 movie Whale Rider, and she was nominated for the Acamedy Award for Best Actress, so she took the trip from New Zealand to Hollywood to attend the ceremony.

Doesn't she look nice in that dress? Aren't there about a half a hundred actresses who could learn a thing or two about dressing attractively at an award show from this young lady?

Yes and yes, hypothetical question asker. Now let me get on with the story.

So Keisha is on the red carpet, and a pair of the roving red carpet vultures are asking her the questions reserved for the "fish out of water" nominees. How is she enjoying Hollywood? Is she excited? Is there anyone special she would like to meet?

Of course, she's having fun. Yes, she's excited. And as for who she would like to meet, she gives the answer most preferred by 12 year old girls for about the past twenty years.

Johnny Depp.

So the red carpet is over and the show will start in just a few minutes, and the red carpet host turns it over to one of the roving vultures who is in the auditorium. He finds Keisha, gets her out of her seat, takes her over a few aisles and introduces her to...

Johnny Depp.

And let me give mad props to Johnny Depp. If you ever get a chance to meet your hero and that person is as gracious to you as Johnny Depp was to Keisha Castle-Hughes, you, my friend, are way ahead of the game. He shook her hand and gave her a little Hollywood hug, and he was just the perfect amount of complimentary to her as a colleague. He had seen the movie, she was wonderful, he was a big fan, he wished her the best of luck.

She smiled and she giggled a little. She said "Pleased to meet you" and "Thank you very much" and "Goodbye" as she went back to her seat. The red carpet vulture walked her back, and said "A young star has her dream come true. How do you feel, Keisha?"

And in perfect honesty, she said to the vulture, "Oh, you're a dead man."

And nothing else.

This was not a dream come true. This was so much emotion that she was close to physically ill. Those of us who are old enough to have experienced most emotions multiple times have a hard time remembering what it was like to be that excited for the first time. If it was even a little bit fun, it's a very sickening kind of fun.

If you have a good enough memory, you can really appreciate not being an adolescent anymore.


namastenancy said...

I can so relate. I wasn't as young as Keisha when I met my crush of the moment. The play was Les Liasons Dangereux and the main man was played by Alan Rickman. I was ill with excitement and, unfortunately, he was not the gentleman that Depp was. He brushed by those of us at the stage door with a snarl and I was totally crushed. You don't have to be an adolescent to have adolescent emotions. And good for Keishe for being honest with those jackals of the press.

Anonymous said...

Great post about Keisha meeting Johnny. That was Johnny's first Oscar nom and I remember seeing he was so nervous he practically leaped out of his seat when Billy Bush brought Keisha over! Sorry to hear namastenancy's tale re Rickman, who is one of my faves. Maybe he's changed over the years? And everybody has a bad day, afterall.

dguzman said...

Oh man, my adopted actor Alan Rickman was a jerk to NamasteNancy?

That jerk's about to get grounded, folks. Don't worry--it won't prevent him from working, but it'll be a long time before he gets to hang out at the malt shop with his friends.

I love that Keisha gave her true opinion to the vulture. Has she been in any other movies?

Matty Boy said...

She was Queen of Naboo in the third Star Wars movie and got very good reviews as Mary in the 2006 movie The Nativity Story.

I too love Keisha for her honesty, for like all right thinking Americans, I despise all red carpet vultures, not just the ones with the last name Rivers.