When my dad read in the newspaper that Gran Torino was probably going to be the last time Clint Eastwood appeared in a movie as an actor, he felt he needed to see the movie in an actual theatre and not wait for it to come to DVD. He felt he owed Clint. How he owes anything to a man he has never met is beyond me, but you don’t ask the old man that because then you get an hour long lecture on how they don’t make real movies anymore which leads to a discussion about quality and why it is a sin to ever pay more than $5 for a meal.
So, because Clint is a man’s man that meant that dad and I were going to have to bond and see this movie together. Anytime I see a movie with my dad I need a buffer. If it's just me with him then he talks or makes comments throughout the entire movie, and does it at a volume which seems appropriate for him, but annoys people 30 rows away. For some reason though, he doesn’t ever utter a word when there is someone else present. Who to call? No, not FW. Instead I called my dad’s favorite ex-wife of mine, Carli.
Gran Torino has moved out of the big theatres here. It went to what I like to call the dollar movie theatre at full theatre prices also known as the Beverly Center. Tiny theatres, older movies, but you still get to pay full prices. Also, unlike Arc Light, they don’t have a bar. I was going to need a bar. Lucky for me, there is a bar in the Beverly Center with huge television screens and a knack for serving really strong drinks to guys while their significant others stimulate the economy.
The movie started at 740p on Saturday. The mistake was agreeing to meet Carli at 7p because it was too long for just one drink. It was however, as we discovered just the right amount of time for three drinks. At the three drink point, my dad wants to go out. Forget the movie. He wants to party. When he is at home in that condition, my mom simply reminds him that he is in boxers and a t-shirt and so he slumps back into his recliner and his television. Outside of the confines of the house though, he wants to party. Carli of course loves this idea which is why she was my dad’s favorite. I of course would rather just sit there and drink until last call which, in this bar is about 9pm. Seriously.
Carli gets on the phone and the next thing you know we are going to meet some people at The Improv to see Jamie Kennedy. It starts at 9:30. I had imagined myself being home, alone on my futon not much past 9:30, but my dad was having a good time so I couldn’t deny the guy his fun. So off we went. Of course my dad decided he would much rather ride with Carli than me. So, there I was cruising the streets of Hollywood on a Saturday night in the family mini-van, while Carli was driving my dad around in a new car paid for by my alimony checks. Good times.
As soon as we get inside, one of the people who was with out group points out Mena Suvari. Why Mena decided that she and two of her girlfriends needed to spend their Saturday night watching Jamie Kennedy is beyond me, but there you go. Of course my dad has no idea who Mena is until you remind him about American Beauty. The next thing you know he is tucking in his shirt and slicking back the four hairs on his head like she is going to run away with him.
I have to say that Mena was a bit standoffish at first. Of course it could be that my dad, upon hearing it was Mena and reminded of American Beauty, basically yelled, “you mean the chick who gets naked in the roses?” Nice way to make a good impression, and probably the reason when I attempted to be smooth and make amends, she smirked and turned away. Ouch.
Aaah, but little did Mena know that we would soon have our revenge. Being the only celebrity there, Mena was given the best seat in the house. Unfortunately for Mena, Carli knows everyone everywhere and so we got the second best seats in the house. Right next to Mena. For the next two hours, Mena was subjected to a full onslaught of flirting and attention from my 85 year old father. Whether it was his natural charms or the four drinks she consumed, Mena really started warming to the old man. Of course it could also be that Jamie Kennedy being about as unfunny as his rap career gave lots of people time to chat and catch up on world events.
By the time the show mercifully ended, I actually thought my dad was going to get Mena’s phone number. Alas, I think he realized that mom probably wouldn’t understand, and he would be forced down into the basement to share my futon. Mena did agree to take a photo with the old man after the show and she even answered a few questions from me.
For those of you who are curious, she says she is still engaged. She also said she shaved her head for a movie but has no idea if the movie will ever be released. I also got the feeling she has never read any gossip site ever. Her two friends didn’t appear to say anything all night, and I’m wondering if she just keeps them around so she doesn’t have to go places by herself. Anyway, what was going to be a post about how mean she was at the beginning of the night turned into a love fest post for the way she treated my dad. So, thanks Mena.