Too Beautiful for You

The Anniversary Party is an exclusive engagement

Yet there's something about the movie that's too patronizing for that. I was moved by a scene of Kline mock-ballet-dancing with his daughter: She giggles nonstop, and he seems so playfully affectionate. It seems real. But it only seems real. I feel like an illusion of these celebrities' real lives is being trotted out to seduce the celebrity-obsessed public. That's the illusion of star-driven cinema in general. But here the celebrities are almost playing themselves, teasing the audience with little bits of truth. It's as though, with the Roses, we are invited--once--into their homes, in order to avoid an escalation of rebellious hostilities. In the morning, after the party (or film) is over, a loyal retainer comes to take out the trash and reestablish order.

And we return, pacified, to the other side of the fence, dreaming of the privilege we can look at but never touch.

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