My inner monologue has been going out of control lately. I watched “Whatever Works” the other night with Larry David. It is largely a movie of monologues, sometimes even addressed straight to the audience. But let’s be honest, I only watched it because I knew Henry Cavill was in it.
Evan Rachel Wood played his romantic counterpart, who was a Mississippian with a hankerin’ for NYC and a Southern drawl that was forced beyond belief. It got annoying.
I realize I missed a Monday, but it was the Monday after Christmas, so it was pretty much Christmas. Consider it a little vaca.
Turns out, I can’t write fiction on command today, so instead I’m going to share the opening monologue from “Whatever Works.” A few things to consider: It’s delivered by a cantankerous man, Boris Yellnikoff, played by Larry David. And Larry David is looking straight at, and thusly acknowledging, the audience. I hated it at first. But read it a second time. It’s a laugh.
Boris Yellnikoff: [to audience] What the hell does it all mean anyhow? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nothing comes to anything. And yet, there’s no shortage of idiots to babble. Not me. I have a vision. I’m discussing you. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your newspapers. The TV. Everybody’s happy to talk. Full of misinformation. Morality, science, religion, politics, sports, love, your portfolio, your children, health. Christ, if I have to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to live, I don’t wanna live. I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables. And your omega 3’s, and the treadmill, and the cardiogram, and the mammogram, and the pelvic sonogram, and oh my god the-the-the colonoscopy, and with it all the day still comes where they put you in a box, and its on to the next generation of idiots, who’ll also tell you all about life and define for you what’s appropriate. My father committed suicide because the morning newspapers depressed him. And could you blame him? With the horror, and corruption, and ignorance, and poverty, and genocide, and AIDS, and global warming, and terrorism, and-and the family value morons, and the gun morons. “The horror,” Kurtz said at the end of Heart of Darkness, “the horror.” Lucky Kurtz didn’t have the Times delivered in the jungle. Ugh… then he’d see some horror. But what do you do? You read about some massacre in Darfur or some school bus gets blown up, and you go “Oh my God, the horror,” and then you turn the page and finish your eggs from the free range chickens. Because what can you do. It’s overwhelming! I tried to commit suicide myself. Obviously, it didn’t work out. But why do you even want to hear about all this? Christ, you got your own problems. I’m sure your all obsessed with any number of sad little hopes and dreams. Your predictably unsatisfying love lives, your failed business ventures. “Oh, if only I’d bought that stock! If only I-if only I purchased THAT house years ago! If only I’d made a move on THAT woman.” If this, if that. You know what? Gimmie a break with your could have’s and should have’s. Like my mother used to say, “If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley car.” My mother didn’t have wheels. She had varicose veins. Still, the woman gave birth to a brilliant mind. I was considered for a Nobel Prize in physics… I didn’t get it. But, you know, its all politics. It’s like every other phony honor. Incidentally, don’t think I’m-I’m bitter because of some personal setback. By the standards of a mindless, barbaric civilization, I’ve been pretty lucky. I was married to a beautiful woman who had family money. For years we lived on Beekman Place. I taught at Columbia. String theory.
… and thus begins the movie. It’s an instant watch on Netflix if you’ve got it. It’s not completely mind numbing. Larry David’s character is worth it. And Henry Cavill.