So this was pretty much what I consider to be the perfect New Year’s Eve. Watched Shall We Dance with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (that is, Fred and Ginger were in the movie, not in my living room, though that would have been cool). Drank some wine. Watched the ball drop in Times Square, a spectacle marred only slightly by the inane babbling of Kathy Griffin (how Anderson Cooper refrained from strangling her, I’ll never know). Played with the cats a little. Ran an episode from the first season of SNL — not one of the best, but musical guest Jimmy Cliff ripped it up. Took an hour for [redacted]. Then spent the last hour of 2007 and the first of 2008 in pursuit of my personal goal of watching The Big Lebowski more times than any living person.
In between we took a few minutes to pop open a bottle of champagne and ring in the New Year, but here was where the only two major missteps of the evening occurred. One was that due to a lack of motor control I blew the cork about ten seconds too early (go ahead and take your cheap shot here — I’m asking for it). The other was reflexively tuning in to “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” for the countdown. As a result of this second bad decision my lady friend and I were confronted with the twin horrors of Dick Clark — who (God love him) nowadays presents the aspect of a corpse freshly powdered and temporarily shocked back to life for the occasion — and Ryan Seacrest, who unsurprisingly was surrounded by good-looking young people with nothing interesting to say.
But then it was over and we were safely into the new year, watching John Turturro French kiss a purple bowling ball. I never cease to be amazed at what Turturro accomplishes in maybe three minutes of screen time as “The Jesus” Quintana. On a frame-per-frame basis, this may be this best performance in the history of cinema. It deserves some kind of special OscarRRR, as do the actors who play Jesus’s roly-poly bowling partner and D student Larry Sellers, both of whom make indelible impressions while speaking no lines whatsoever.
My New Year’s resolution? To abide, naturally.