Friday, October 07, 2005

shopgirl, interrupted

I remember being in a bookstore and picking the novella Shopgirl off the shelf with no intention of buying it. I opened it somewhere in the middle and the very first words I saw were the title of one of its chapters, "Sleeping with Jeremy." I walked immediately to the counter and bought it.

Shopgirl is a flawed novella, both in micro (prose) and macro (plot) terms. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. Moreover, I don't think my enjoyment had much to do with Shopgirl having a character named Jeremy or even that Shopgirl Jeremy is somebody who fulfills my own chronic aspirations for Significant Self-Improvement. The book pulls off a charming combination of melancholy and sweetness, and it contains many clever one-liners that only occasionally careen over the cliff of Too Cute.

Now it's coming out as a movie. Jeremy is being played by Jason Schwartzman, who was third choice for the role: Jimmy Fallon dropped out just before filming began due to other obligations, and Jeremy Freese declined because of what stardom demands might do to his social science productivity. Jeremy competes with Steve Martin for the affection of Claire Danes. Jeremy faces many disadvantages in this contest, and so perhaps it is for the best that Shopgirl Jeremy, unlike Blogger Jeremy, enters the gladitorial stadium of romance with perfect teeth and a full head of hair.

I've watched the trailer for Shopgirl at least ten times in the last few days. I'm not sure why. I think it has much to do with its prominent use of the song "The Sound of Settling," by Death Cab for Cutie, which I also downloaded to my Nano last night and had propel me along for the first part of last night's run.

18 comments:

A+ said...

Oh god. Enough with the old guy fantasies already. There's no way I'm paying ten bucks to see Steve Martin woo Claire Danes.

Absolut said...

The movie certainly looks intriguing. (I don't like it when they just say "coming soon" though, when exactly? How long do I have to wait?? Then again, I'm so behind anyway.) Did you really buy the book, because of that one line (even if a chapter heading)? That's pretty funny. But I guess not so surprising for this Jeremy.:)

Absolut said...

Ang - I don't think these are fantasies so much as realities. (By the way, Steven Martin doesn't look that old. This age differences seems like nothing compared to some real life Hollywood - and other real-world - matches.)

Anonymous said...

I read the book too, and liked it. As someone who went through a phase of dating guys that were way WAY too old for me in my early 20s, I could sort of relate.

jeremy said...

Absolut: The story of how I bought the book is true. I was looking for a novel to read, but had no plans on it being that before I opened it and saw Sleeping With Jeremy, and then it just seemed like it was bibliofate speaking to me or something.

Steve Martin turns 60 this year. Claire Danes is 25. I'm 34. I still don't think she should choose Steve over me.

Absolut said...

Anon 1:52 - That was my point when I said that this wasn't exactly fantasy, it was more like reality. I can certainly relate to that kind of age difference as I'm sure so can quite a few other women (especially ones who may be reading this blog).

Which then brings me to Jeremy's point. While some people are really concerned about the age of their partners, others are more concerned about their maturity, etc. A 60 yr old can *sometimes* win out over a 25 on that score, or possibly even a 34 year old. And Steve Martin really doesn't look 60 in that movie (not in the trailer anyway). That said, Jeremy Freese may be a good enough 34 yr old that it's fine for him to wonder how any 60 yr old could win out over him.:-)

Jeremy - Remember that although the title did say Sleeping with Jeremy, it didn't specify Freese (rhymes with *insert preferred word*) so don't take it too personally.:)

jeremy said...

Well, if I opened up a book in a bookstore and the first words I saw were "Sleeping With Jeremy Freese" or even really "[any verb]ing with Jeremy Freese", I would buy that as well.

jeremy said...

Erratum: Claire Danes is 26.

Brayden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because I'm no longer 26, but I don't find anything remotely appealing about the Jeremy character...either in the movie trailer or in the novella. I do, however, find the blogger Jeremy remotely appealing (or at least I did when I was 26).

Brayden said...

Whoops, deleted my own comment. I meant to say....I find Steve Martin with Claire Danes to be much less creepy than Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes. Now if Steve Martin impregnated Claire, I might start feeling more icky about it.

jeremy said...

In Steve Martin's defense, he wrote Shopgirl when he was about 54, and the Mirabelle character is 28, which means that he was actually fantasizing about hooking up with a woman slightly over half his age, as opposed to only 43% of his age. Plus, at least at one point the relationship takes on a quasi-parental character, albeit of the "parents with benefits" variety.

Tom Bozzo said...

That last comment was creepy -- needs another "quasi-" in there.

The phenomenon seems to be spreading outside of Hollywood, though. Attendees at Nina's loft-warming extravaganza included June-September and probably May- (but looked more like early-April-) October couples. Go figure.

Then again, I married a (slightly) older woman, so I may just be defining that which I didn't do as deviance.

jeremy said...

Anon 10:13am: Normally I have no idea who my anonymous commenters are if they don't sign their comments. But if you are anyone other than Kathryn, it's like you channeled her in that comment.

Anonymous said...

This just could be the book that ends up in the university library with your very own book plate!

Paperback? Nice!

Allen said...

You are possibly even more book-compulsive than I am. Maybe even up there with Binnielula, whose book-compulsiveness is the main reason we haven't saved anything for our children's college educations.

Absolut said...

Brayden - I don't quite get what you're saying. It's okay for these people to sleep together as long as the woman doesn't get pregnant, but as soon as she does _that_ particular part of it then makes it all disgusting? So it's not the having-sex-together, being naked together, exchanging bodily fluids that's the problem, it's the pregnancy in particular? And interesting choice of words ("impregnate") - so are you suggesting the women here are completely passive participants?

Anonymous said...

IMPREGNATE?? Yikes ... that's a scary one ... as for suitable partners ... numbers don't really matter after 21, do they (though of course they do, come on, I'm a sociologist, I know better ... those age combinations are social objects and if they weren't we wouldn't be talking about them)? OK, but anyway ... I mean, let's just pretend I'm 43 ... trust me, a really mature 25 year old would be waaaayyyyy better than the 53 year old man-child who needs his mother to wipe his ass for him ... oh, damn, sorry ... I wasn't going to talk about that ... who me, bitter? :) NO WAY! By the way, love you, miss you JF ... and oh yeah, if I picked up some book and there's a chapter titled, "Sleeping with [My Name]" you can be sure I'd buy it ... hmm, maybe I should check ... could be one out there already ... you never know ...