Dear Old Owl,
I am a successful film critic, bested only by Siskel, Ebert, and the guy who makes Breaking Bad video essays on YouTube. Man, I love that shit. The point is, I’ve been at this a long time, and I’m very particular. When my son told me he wanted to major in film at Vassar, I said, “Isn’t that a school for girls?” Then he got all “teenager” on me, so I had to go to his room and tell him how proud I am that he’s taking an interest in the family business. That was four years ago. Now, $280,000 and a bunch of bullshit classes on “gender” later, he’s made his thesis film, and it truly is one of the worst films I’ve seen in my life. How do I talk to him about it without vio- lating my journalistic integrity?
The father-son relationship is a delicate one, fraught with the pitfalls of generational masculinity, high expectations, and constantly having to tell your son that he can’t have any of your acid, because it’s yours and you bought it with your own money, and why don’t you go buy me a box of cigarettes from the pump station while you’re at it? Now, my son isn’t the brightest star in the sky — he’s more like a rock hurtling through space and time with no direction or purpose or ambitions — but I love the kid for who he is. That being said, I appreciate that I stick to my things (being conventionally handsome and likably intellectual) and he sticks to his things (primarily sloth and cowardice). If your son is trying to ride your coattails all the way to Hot Ones, you have to do what any responsible parent would: publish a scathing review of his short film and teach that boy that the industry is ruthless, with no ruth at all. Things like “stars” and “heroes” and “good fathers” are secondary to “being true to the art of Film and Film Criti- cism” and “Meritocracy.” He’ll toughen up or he’ll drop it, and either way you get that sweet commission cash.
Dear Old Owl,
You probably know me because I’m extremely famous, but I won’t bore you with details of my wealth and success for fear of revealing my identity (but if you’ve seen Fight Club or Ocean’s Eleven, you definitely know who I am). I’m working on a new project with PTA — some artsy shit — and I’ve got this body double who’s supposed to play an older and uglier version of my character, but let me tell you, this guy is handsome. Like, top-tier, Clooney-level shit. I talked to Paul about it and he says there’s nothing to worry about, but this guy is so handsome — not as handsome as me, but pretty damn close. I’m afraid he’s gonna be Brad — I mean, Bart — way better than I could ever do it. Feeling insecure.
Brad “I Am Not Brad Pitt” Pitt
Ohhh, you’re so hot! You’re so sexy. I love the way your muscles ripple across your abdomen. I love your hair and how you look good no matter what length or color that hair is.You deserve all of the money and women and Tesla swag bags that you get and MORE. Through all of your high-profile relationships with other A-listers, I bet you were right in every argument and every divorce and have no need for introspection. Those bitches! I would lick you head-to-toe if I could, and it doesn’t even have to be sexual. You have nothing to be self-conscious about, and certainly no one to be envious of — but if you still feel this jealousy tugging at your big, strong heart, perhaps it’s time to look inward, and not be scared of what you see. I suggest a guided peyote journey (I have some connections south of the border, very tasteful and discreet
kind of thing), but if you’re too prudish to open your third eye, you can also try one of my anxiety workbooks, like “Old Owl’s Tips and Tricks For Worrying Less and Balling More: Mastering Your Moods Using Skills I Myself Invented.” Anyways, fan. Let me know if you have any extra tix to the premiere of that PTA flick; I love that weird shit. Boogie Nights was totally my jam.
Dear Old Owl,
The lights… the lights are so bright… burning my eyes! And oh, God! The cameras! Every one pointed inward to the caverns of my soul, the most deranged corners of my mind… seeing right through me… who knows what they will see. All this and I open my eyes and there’s a man in sunglasses staring down at me — and so far down, I’m practically at his feet, and he is a giant, he is a behemoth — and not only this, but a gun to my head, eclipsing my vision, and the lights are so bright… “Action,” he says. And that’s the last thing I see.
I’m not sure if that’s a pitch or a cry for help, but I am HOOKED! Consider emailing oldowlmanagement@ managementforoldowl.com, we’re trying to start an agency to make some extra cash on the side. Right now I’ve got this great filmmaker from Vassar and some really hot stunt double who looks a lot like Brad Pitt. You’ll fit right in.