Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Little Children, Cancer Vixen, Bachelor Rome

My boss let me borrow her copy of Tom Perrotta's LITTLE CHILDREN. I wanted to read the book before seeing the film, which received excellent reviews. Not sure how long this film will be in theaters. I work in the biz and have no idea what is going on with this movie. There has been hardly any marketing for it.

LC is about a nice suburban town and what happens beneath the surface. It's not AMERICAN BEAUTY. Perrotta has more compasion for his characters and there are some very funny moments. Two thirty something stay-at-home parents begin an affair and a convicted child molester moves back home with his mom. Both these events pop the balloon of the typical lazy days of summer.

Once I started reading it, I couldn't see Kate Winslet playing a mousy, frustrated suburban mom. My boss said she was angry when she heard about the casting but Kate was amazing. I am a big Perrotta fan. ELECTION was great but my first love is probably his short story college, BAD HAIR DAYS, Tales from the Seventies. There were set in Jersey and I laughed my ass off when I read this book 9 years ago. I was still living in NYC then and went to a friend's beach house for the weekend. A novelist/filmmaker was raving about Perrotta and gave me his copy. I still need to read Perrotta's JOE COLLEGE which is sitting in pile a with about 15 other books.

CANCER VIXEN by Marisa Acocella Marchetto.
I am not a comic book fan. I used to read them as a kid but other than the graphic novels I need to read for work, I don't seek them out.

CV is a graphic novel about Marchetto's battle with breast cancer. At 43, a terminal bachelorette is about to get married in 3 weeks to the one and only Silvano Marchetto, the very popular and dynamic owner of long time hot spot Da Silvano. She has found true love and her career is picking up when THE NEW YORKER hires her for more cartoons.

In the middle of all this bliss she finds out she has breast cancer and her health insurance has lasped. I have always been a fan of her work in THE NEW YORKER, and the late great magazine MIRABELLA. At times her book is very in your face and while there is nothing funny about a disease that kills over 40,000 women a year, Machetto's story brings some laughs along with the tears.

I loved her cartoons. The way she described and drew the catty women talking smack about her, after her engagement, as sour grapes on a vine was hilarious. Her mother (aka Smother, the Sophia Loren of New Jersey) needs her own book. I liked how it didn't sugarcoat anything. Marchetto does get angry, wonders if walking around for days in the ash of 9/11 has anything to do with it and if her larger than life fidanzato (he's very italian, so she refused to say fiancee, because it's french) will bolt when he hears the news. She takes a hard look at her pre-cancer anger and superficial life. She still loves her shoes and lipstick but doesn't let things get to her the way they used to.

A portion of the sales are going to cancer research.

BACHELOR ROME. I love that there is an Italian woman, Agnese, living with these crazy American girls. She can't understand why the girls are always screaming/cheering. I wonder the same thing myself. I belong to a volunteer group with hundreds of women from recent college grads to grandmothers. We never scream like that. And there are quite a few ex-sorority girls and cheerleaders in my group.

Lorenzo needs to find about the girl (he gave her the diamonds) that has her timeline. She all about the ring. I don't think she cares about him.

Borghese Park looked so beautiful. All weekend I have been thinking about booking a quick trip during Thanksgiving. American Airlines and Lufthansa are having winter sales. Two of my friends are going to be in Florence. One, is going to see her boyfriend, the other it will be her first trip to Italy. Since I am broke and will be spending almost $2,000 to be home at Christmas, I need to sit tight. I meet with my accountant in February. I want to see how much I will own in taxes. before spending any of my birthday money (thanks mom and dad) on a trip.

Allora, back to my so-called life.


Anonymous said...

Aw crap, I missed it again! These dang novelas are taking up all my time. I think I am going to Tivo next weeks episode.
How did the writing go this weekend? I hope you got some things accomplished. Everytime I try to sit down and do something my mind goes off on some foreign tangent...Italy mostly!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Hey E/I the writing went well. Looking foward to get into it this weekend.