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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Anthony Lane--My Secret XXOO Crush

by Bridget Stuart

Hey, everyone. Sssh. I've got a secret burning in my bosom, and I'm about to confess. I, who claim to be immune to the silly seduction of celebrity; I, who have not admitted to a crush on an unattainable object since Joe Strummer of The Clash; I, who would appear to have no relationship trouble with the general male population, am deeply in thrall to a man I've never met.

A brilliant, elegant, witty, funny, charming yet dangerously ruthless man--he has all the qualities that leave me helpless and boneless with passion, though until fairly recently I had no idea what he looked like.

Deep breath, pause to gather courage:

I have a crush on Anthony Lane.


You don't know who Anthony Lane is? Come on, he's the film reviewer for The New Yorker magazine. (There are others, but sorry--they don't just pale in comparison, they positively *bleach*.) He also writes occasional essays. Really remarkable essays. How could I not fall in love with a man who turns a phrase like this, in reference to wee green Yoda of the "Star Wars" saga:

"Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. 'I hope right you are.' Break me a fucking give."

I could not stop howling after I read this. I tried quoting it to people and always got it wrong, only succeeding in making them wish I were in a galaxy far, far away. You didn't think it was so clever? How about this bit from a giddy essay of his, all about the NYT top ten bestsellers of 1945 (He read all the books--or tried to):

"I have a problem with No. 9. I cannot read it. God knows, I have tried. I have downed three straight whiskeys and then tried to read it. I have leapt clean and sober from a cold shower, grabbed the book, and, standing upright, started to read it out loud. But the same thing always happened: I buckled like a puppet and fell asleep."

Buckled like a puppet. God. You're feeling the love too, aren't you? The...excitement. How about his take on bestseller No. 2 from the 1945 list, "Captain from Castile":

"Our hero is Pedro de Vargas, who has everything going for him: a cool cavalier dad; a sister called Mercedes; a crush on the luscious Luisa, who appears to have been ordered direct from the Courtly Love catalogue ('The arch of her eyebrows, the bow of her lips, her pearl-white complexion, were perfect'); and a no-strings nobility clause in his character ('He spoke and loved as a hidalgo should')."

The wonderful thing about Anthony Lane is, instead of scorning an easy crit target like "Captain from Castile", he loved it. He also loves the horror pic "Halloween", and the Lord of the Rings flicks, not just obscure Icelandic works or universally acclaimed pictures like "The English Patient". This from a guy people characterize as a snooty film critic. He is *not*! (Playground whine.)

It turns out, Anthony Lane is also a willowy Englishman with the sensitive good looks of a Manga character (receding hairline notwithstanding). So Google him, friends. Revel in the pleasure with me. Write him fan mail, and puzzle him deeply.

And if you have a confession of your own to make--a dark, hidden love not everyone would understand--share it with me. I showed you mine. Now you show me yours.


At 5:24 AM, Blogger MaryF said...



At 10:00 AM, Blogger bridget said...

Mary, I think I must have ordered *you* from the Courtly Love catalog!

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Well, I googled Anthony Lane and I can totally understand the crush. He is an interesting and very witty guy. Not bad to look at, either.
But...He didn't see the brilliance of The Phantom of the Opera, so he is FLAWED. Flawed heroes are desirable, I suppose.
My secret crush? Well, I quite fell in love with the Duke of Wellington (not the current one. The original one) on my trip to England in 2003. He was a flawed character, too, as a matter of fact!
Happy Birthday!

At 10:17 AM, Blogger bridget said...

He didn't love Phantom?? Well, you're right. It's the flaws that make us all interesting. Come to think of it, he thought "The English Patient" was a masterpiece, and I, er, disagreed. I simply hated it, and was devastated that my spiritual partner didn't instinctively feel the same.

The Duke of Wellington?? REALLY?? I love it! Okay, now I remember a full year where I had a real *thing* for Lord Louis Mountbatten. You are not alone.

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Kath said...

I, too, love Anthony Lane! Although I don't "crush" on him (I have somewhat unconventional taste in men - they tend to be smart, stocky, gruff, and not perfect-looking.)

Lane is one of the few authors who makes me laugh *out loud* until I'm practically crying.

And, Bridget, you found the Yoda quote! I love the Yoda quote!

P.S. I heart Harvey Keitel. And Tommy Lee Jones. And most of all: Emma's Mr. Knightley.

Happy Birthday, B!!!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I can't think of a secret crush at the moment, but someone's writing who makes me howl is Bill Bryson. I love his travel books.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous gin said...

Smart is so sexy.

I dunno, though. I seem to be growing more immature as I age. I've been crushing on types that are more surface recently, but then, since it's my party, and I'll change reality if I want to, I imagine them saying smart and witty things.

So, Ben Browder (of Farscape and more recently SG1). But wise and witty. Hey, we're writers; it's fun to write the dialogue for our fantasies.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Sandy Blair said...

Dare I admit I'm one of the unenlightened masses? Yup, I'm in the middle of A WALK IN THE WOODS and currently thinking so far, so good. The Phantom...well, I've enjoyed others more. More scandalous, I've yet to figure out why there was so much hellabaloo over The Producers. (At best, I'd have given it a B.)And The English Patient...well, it left me wishing the film editor had left half of it on the cutting room floor. Yes, I'm hopelessly pedestrian in my tastes. So what if I loved Les Mis, loved While You Were Sleeping, loved Rudy, and suspect we could all do with a healthy dollop of Gilbert and Snoopy each day. More importantly...I miss Erma Brombeck.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie Feagan said...

Sammy Hagar.
He's big, he's bad, and funny as hell.
He also takes showers with his cockateel and distills fabulous tequila.
Oh, and he can write some seriously fine music.

Happy Birthday, Bridget, my love!!!

At 1:58 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Wow, Kath, Trish, gin, Sandy, Stephanie, I'm reeling from the revelations. It's all too, too good. I'm feeling more normal by the minute.

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Kath said...

I think this was a healthy exercise for all of us. ;-)I have to say I'm intrigued by the description of Sammy Hagar. . .

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Sandy, as a movie I could agree The Phantom of the Opera was a little thin. You have to suspend a LOT of belief. It was Gerard Butler's performance that blew me away--his way of conveying emotion in a flash of his eyes, his breathing, the way he moved.
(you all are going to get soooo sick of me!)

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

Dang, Bridget. I was so hoping you'd post about a new boyfriend.

I'm not much into the celeb thing either, though Mel and Bruce can both get my heart thumping a bit faster than usual.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Diane, we are *never* sick of you. I have to find a way to get you and this Gerard fellow together for eats n' greets. And Pam, the *real* boyfriend stuff will have to take place off-blog to protect the earnest (arches a tantalizing eyebrow).


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