C onsidering that the only film festival party I scam an invitation to celebrates a flick that celebrates rock and roll -- Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous -- you'd think I'd fit right in. And yet spending Friday night at Alice Fazooli's in the heart of the human meat-packing district manages to make me feel ugly, underdressed and less vital than soap.
Furthermore, it bears no resemblance to any music-industry event I've ever been to, despite the film's grab for authenticity. People are clamouring for this? If this is what Hollywood North is really about, I'm sticking with the lo-fi circuit.
Admittedly, film trades in glamour while music glorifies bedhead chic, but I can't believe that the women here in shoes with heels like pencils really want to be dressed the way they are. They will not be discovered by party attendee Joel Coen, no matter how fancy their threads.
In music, we know there's never any shortcut to fame. So we dress comfortably, quite often covering the whole of our breasts, because we know it's going to be a long wait.
Similarly, unless the subject is a geezer legend long thought dead, we music types tend not to rubberneck fellow guests even if they look weirder and more fake than Gumby, as Alec Baldwin does today.
Yet here, it's par for the course no matter how engaging your date happens to be. At least I think I'm engaging, until my own gal-pal date -- who looks smashing, too, the bitch -- eyeballs Philip Seymour Hoffman and darts over, apropos of nothing, to tell him she thinks he's grand, leaving me in the company of Jennifer and Chris, who won their way in via a contest on CFRB.
Free wine never tasted so good.
Suddenly, relief. Percussionist Andy Stochansky has made the scene and -- hallelujah -- he's dressed normal, just like me. As we chat, I notice the plethora of security personnel in the restaurant -- who, with their little headsets, look like grumpy Gap greeters -- are keeping their eyes on us average people.
I guess it goes without saying that someone dressed to the nines wouldn't dream of harpooning Frances McDormand in a sudden terrorist act against one of the film studios.
Perhaps I'm being negative, but frankly, I get enough of these overpaid, anorexic, laser-sculpted windbags from the newsstand. I don't need to see them up close. They frighten me (see Alec Baldwin, above).
And they still shit and puke just like the rest of us, no matter how perfect their hair. Vive la rock and roll.