Thursday, March 13, 2008

Handshakes.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Foreign Film Director, in town shooting a feature, which is currently in pre-production, leaving FFD with a little too much time on his hands and I guess bored and looking for trouble with some local girls. Didn't really have any magnetism in his first messages, but I played the classic "this is what I'm into" game with FFD to get him warmed up. As Rob Gordon says in "High Fidelity," who you are isn't nearly as important and who and what you're into. I sufficiently impressed FFD with my name-dropping of movies and directors (thank you arty ex-boyfriends!) that he suggested we meet up for a pre-date...if we liked each other on pre-date, well, we'd go see a film or something. FFD doesn't see films with just anybody, you see.

FFD was almost half an hour late and I was left reading the Georgia Straight at the coffeehouse waiting for him...but he is to be forgiven, being, of course, an FFD. To meet FFD I decided to play it sufficiently arty, in skinny jeans and a vintage-ish rocker tee that says "Love Sucks." Oooh. Indie. It turned out that FFD was really just lost. He called looking for directions and I ended up having to go out onto the street to wave him in.

I learned pretty quickly that FFD doesn't really care to talk about much but: a) his movie, b) his last movie, and c) his career. But you know what? That's kind of OK when talking about that stuff means talking about the celebrities he knows, (because we all know I love to talk celebrity trash) and when he is totally admiring of my savant-like knowledge of celebrities, movie trivia, and the like. We managed to make it through a good hour just playing the "Have you seen?"/"You should see"/"I just saw" game. I told him I'd almost brought him this DVD of a great Argentine heist flick that I love, but assumed he would have seen it. He hadn't and I was choked that I hadn't brought it and made his head explode with my cool quirkiness.

During a lull in the conversation, I suggested FFD and I visit Independent Flixx, a great local vid shop, and that he "educate me." Pick three films I just HAVE to see, I said. So we perused the aisles of Independent Flixx for a good half hour, picking up titles to show each other. FFD found it a little hard to stump me (what can I say? I HAVE seen alot of films), but we settled on three: "Chopper," "Mean Creek," and "Junebug." Then I commanded that FFD walk me home, and we strolled in that direction, laughing and chattering (well, ME chattering, him making sarcastic quips when necessary) the whole way.

I mentioned that I was dying to go to Vegas and get married to someone, ANYone, just for the story. He agreed to do it pretty quickly, and was totally sold when I promised him a free divorce (when your best buddy is a divorce lawyer, this is a perk). I was debating whether I was going to ask him up, and informed him when we got to my place that I was going to give him a couple of the DVDs we'd been talking about. He played it cool, and agreed.

FFD loved my apartment, asking jokingly for the tour: "Cool kitchen." Couple of steps. "Cool living room." A few more. "Cool bathroom." He beelined for my bookshelves, agreed with my assessment that I have some shit DVDs in my collection, but deferred to my pretty great collection of books. "Cool books." "Thanks." "Cool T-shirt." "Thanks."

"You're really cool," he said admiringly (yes, he really said "cool" this many times), straightening up from the shelf and walking towards me. "Thanks," I said. "We could be friends," he pronounced. "We COULD," I agreed. "We should have a secret handshake," he suggested.

"Cool," I said, with a sense of irony which was totally lost on FFD. He immediately began devising one, like those Schoolhouse Rock handshakes that involve 10-15 complicated steps. I was laughing as he tried to teach me each step: high five, the slide, the palm slap, etc. It became more and more convoluted and impossible to remember. As we neared the end, he threw in some new aspects.

"Now we hug," he commanded. We hugged.

"We kiss like the French do," he said, and kissed me on each cheek.

Well, you can see where this is going, I think.

Pretty soon our handshake had turned into alot more than a handshake. On the couch.

"I hadn't really planned on this, " I confessed to FFD at one point as we came up for air. "Really." And I hadn't. I figured we'd trade DVDs and leave the, uh, handshakes to another date. "I'm not usually this easy," I said. Clearly I was lying, but whatever.

"Neither am I," he said, laughing. "But it feels right, somehow."

And it did. And it was.

FFD wasn't big on sticking around, post-handshake, though, which surprised me. He seemed like a much more cuddly, let-me-stay-the-night type guy. Pillow talk consisted of (surprise!) talk about his movie, which I patiently accepted, and then he was out. I fully expected to see him again.

It's been a week now, though, and no sign of the FFD, other than a response to my morning-after email when I said I'd enjoyed meeting him...and the other stuff. He responded with "Ditto-don't work too hard..." I've sent him an email since, to update him on something in MY life that we had talked about, but I didn't get a response-probably because it wasn't related to his casting problems, or location scouting, or script re-writes. Do I sound bitter? I'm not, just shaking my head at how FFD totally played to the stereotype of the self-involved film industry insider.

So-an intriguing mis-read of FFD on my part. I didn't pass the pre-date audition to attend a film, I guess. I had thought he was into me for more than a handshake-he DID say he thought we could be friends. Further, I didn't think that he'd be the type to feel sheepish about things maybe going a little too far for a first date, (although we're adults, so who cares about these things really) but that might be what's going on, too? Oh well. I'm hardly devastated. His work would always come first. But the handshake was smooth.

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