Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin Screen Test or How Linda Lamont Went to Washington

I have been off-line for awhile, finishing a novel. Since my absence, the internet has become filled with different angles on the Republican V.P. pick.

So here’s my take on the Sarah Palin story:

The majority of blog angles have related to the “Disney” bad script scenario. I like this because it is so American and so true.

Being a film buff, my film theory quickly focused on two in particular: 42nd Street and Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington. Let’s see if we can’t combine them.

In 42nd Street, we have two onscreen stars, Don Lockwood and Linda Lamont, who are romantically linked. In the background is Cosmo Brown, who used to work with Lockwood before he became a big silent movie success. The movie The Jazz Singer is a huge hit and ushers in the new era of the “talkies.” Silent film actors at first mock the new genre, but eventually find themselves taking speech and singing lesson. Don has no problem. Linda on the other hand has one of most irritating voices imaginable (Do you see where I’m going here? I don’t, but Palin’s voice reminds me of Lamont’s).

Enter Kathy Seldon, the chorus girl, who is hired to overdub Lamont’s voice (Don’t forget that lip-syncing is still alive and well). Not soon after this, Lockwood falls head-over-heals for Seldon. Lamont does her best to break it up. [There has to be some fodder here for the script we’re working on, don’t you think?]

In the movie the humor is cruel, with much of it at the expense of the voice and character of Palin (I mean Lamont). Her character was a stereotyped portrayal of many of those who failed to transcend to the world of sound. Many had thick foreign accents and were forgotten by the moguls who had made millions off of them previously (I can’t remember any of them becoming Governors of a major economy). In essence, Linda Lamont is portrayed as an IDIOT-VILLIAN.

Segway: Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington. It starred James Stewart and Jean Arthur. Now, some of you movie buffs might actually be aware of the fact that Jean Arthur started her career in the Silent era. She also had a quirky, funny voice, not suited for the “talkies.” When the “talkies” came in, she had an affair with David O. Selznick (hmm, now there’s an idea for you—slept her way to the glass ceiling). He got her slightly better parts, until her break came—playing many roles as a more than competent career woman that could be romantically vulnerable but had just not met her match yet (so to speak).

In the movie Stewart’s character represents the images we saw on the giant screen in St. Paul, this summer—American freedom, democracy and morality over repression and evil, while being what the republican pundits would term: na├»ve, idealist, patriotic, mature in wisdom, fights political corruption within the governments political machine, and guards American values as a moral hero (Wow, that was a mouthful).

So now we have the funny voiced Idiot-Villain, the Uber-Patriot, and a convoluted script with all kinds of potential for mayhem, madness, and of course--a couple of kooky neighbors thrown in for good measure.

So please help me out here: Can you put this all together and fill in the blanks? I know we’ll make it huge in Hollywood and we can split the royalties (that is, if you have a green-card).

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