Saturday, November 14, 2009

Valley of the Dolls

A lot of women I know have read "Valley of the Dolls". It's a total downer, and I only saw the movie. A friend informed me that the movie was a bit more uplifting than the book, and I was surprised someone could call the movie uplifting. My favorite plotline is the entire Jennifer plot. It's a classic in the churn and burn cycle of Hollywood, and its use of women. In the book, her farewell letter has the incredibly sad line that did make me chuckle when my friend showed it to me, "I won't let them take your babies", referring to her breasts. Sad that no one dug poor Jennifer for anything but her body. The movie constantly runs that happy peasants dancing music whenever Anne takes pills. Sad. I know Patty Duke did a nice job playing the aspiring actress who hits it big and then becomes a manipulative, catty and aging starlet. It was weird seeing her play that role. I would hum the "cousins, identical cousins" theme song from her tv show whenever I saw her. Depressing but very entertaining.

In an age of mass prescriptions and Prozac Nation books, couldn't someone make a wonderful book or movie about this? Couldn't they just update the storylines and use the same idea of a troika of ladies. The movie/book "Thumbsucker" gets to the legal-illegal mood alterer issue, but doesn't have the horribly depressing vibe that permeates "Valley of the Dolls". Why the hell isn't Lindsay Lohan trying to get this remade or rebooted and cast herself in the Patty Duke role? She wouldn't have to act. I smell box office gold there, but we'll probably be treate to a Smurfs or Monopoly movie first.

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