Anthony Lane--My Secret XXOO Crushby 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.