Enough time has passed now, from the deeply unsettling experience I had last Sunday, to the distance and clear headedness of today. Now I feel able to write about it. Five days, it’s been. Five days of going back and forth, searching for reason — any reason at all — and then trying to forget. Over and over again. Forgetting was my first choice for most of this time, but that’s not so easy to do. I know that harboring resentment and dwelling on unpleasantness won’t move you forward. You have to push beyond those things that get in the way of a life well lived, and dreams that deserve to be fulfilled. I’ve spent a lot of time during these past five days, working to remember that.
I had new anticipation, a rebirth of belief — that one night could be magical. I could lose myself during that evening to a place where there would be no pondering the horrors of today’s job market, no wondering if or when I’ll be a significant other again, no fear of being engulfed by and dumped head first into the cold, vast unknown. I curled onto my sofa knowing that Anne Hathaway was sweet and charming, but with a delightful, crazy sharp edge that puts me in her corner all the more. And James Franco, ever since “Freaks and Geeks” my beautiful, beautiful James Franco (yes he does it for me, too, or well, he could if he wanted… ) He seemed so into that evening and the task before him — until Sunday. By the time that day came, something had gone very wrong, and those of us who were watching, saw it keep on going wrong long after the lone gem, the filmed opening. But my search for reason has borne fruit. Anne Hathaway and James Franco aren’t talking, but I’ve figured it out.
Anne is a trouper. She is good-natured, and she’s eager to please on stage, no matter what. This is not to say that James isn’t also, just maybe not so much last Sunday. I think he’s wonderful, but his performance on Sunday was quite disconcerting, and quite distracting from his usually distracting handsomeness. The scenario I’ve come to believe is this: they both took it on faith that jokes and humorous banter would be written, that these would be of a quality and caliber to suit the occasion, and that the new producers were hired because they knew what they were doing, and would do it well. The show was supposed to be new and crisp and different. How would they know that the producers would drop the ball so deeply into the ocean, until after they were presented with scripts in rehearsal? See? It all makes sense! Ms. Hathaway plugging away the best she could with such awful lines, and Mr. Franco trying to figure out how all this went so wrong, and deciding not to lie to the public by pretending it wasn’t as stupefyingly stupid as it was! That’s what his face was all about that night. Right? Wouldn’t you be ticked off if you were unwittingly stuck in a mess like that?
So there you have it. This is the story I choose to believe. James Franco is not an oddball sourpuss. I feel better now that I’ve figured this out. I can go forward and stop being so upset about one little evening that didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I’ll find other distractions to soothe my soul, and I’m determined to choose much more carefully in the future. I’m sure the face I was making throughout the show (the one I was making for so long that it sort of froze that way) will soften with time.