Tuesday, April 15, 2003

WARNING!! WARNING!! THE FOLLOWING IS SELF-INDULGENT!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

COULD IT BE TRUE?

I saw a news story that NBC and at least one other network (CBS?) are already shopping a made-for-TV movie about the rescue of PFC Jessica Lynch -- without her involvement or approval, of course. No word on a working title. No word on who might star.

Given the total wrong-headedness of most of Hollywood's elite over the War, this could be a real opportunity for them (and a couple of politicians and media types, too) to save at least an ounce of credibility, so here are some recommendations:

Working Title: Can't be "Saving Private Jessi". That'd piss off Spielberg and Hanks, though it would probably be a good choice. And it really shouldn't be too commercial, so it's doubtful that anything close to "Charlie's Newest Angel" will fly either.

Your guess? I can't think of anything dignified enough. Maybe it should just be "PFC Jessica Lynch: Her Story."

Location: no better place than where it actually happened - in Iraq. Will save some major bucks. The unions aren't there, yet.

Casting: the easy part. My recommendations and prognostications for what happens after the movie is aired:

Martin Sheen plays the President (he's been practicing for the past couple of years). Sheen really gets it together. He even looks like Bush - truly inspired, he wins an Emmy for Best Actor. Ironically, "The West Wing" is cancelled the week the movie airs due to a salary dispute with Sheen. Marty then shocks Hollywood by renouncing his wealth, abandoning his family, and becomes a priest, moves to Basra and opens a health clinic for the poor.

Ed Asner plays the Vice President. But Eddy plays it from the "bunker", so we never see him on screen. And after the movie's aired, we never see him again, except for the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" re-runs, of course.

Tim Robbins plays Rumsfeld, but requires a lot of coaching because it's discovered Robbins can't pronounce any word with three or more syllables. But with flawless editing, he pulls it off. A real trooper, our Timmy. He gets an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He and Susan S. drift apart after the movie is aired. He permanently retires from acting, becomes a documentary filmmaker and wins an Oscar for his first film - "Saddam Hussein: A Profile in Terror."

Michael Moore plays Gen. Tommy Franks, but not until he gets a spine implant. Then he goes through Basic Training, Advanced Infantry School and Ranger School. He wanted to go through Special Ops training, but he just didn't have enough time. He lost 85 pounds, has washboard abs, and actually learned to like his M16. After the film was wrapped, he campaigns to become the President of the National Rifle Association. He loses, but gives a remarkable concession speech, apologizing for Bowling for Columbine, blaming an addiction to psychotropic drugs. He hugs Charlton Heston and promises his next documentary will be a piece on the Branch Davidians and how Janet Reno should've nuked their Waco compound on day one.

Susan Sarandon plays an embedded reporter for Fox News. In the movie, she is the reporter who discovers the first WMD cache. After reporting on the large cache of Sarin gas containers they stumbled upon, she mistakes a vial of Ricin for honey, which she puts in her tea. She wins the Pulitzer Prize, posthumously, for her reporting. Sarandon, due to the continuing vast right-wing conspiracy, isn't nominated for anything. After she and Robbins split, she becomes a nun (she saved her habit from "Dead Man Walking"), and now works in Marty Sheen's clinic.

Sean Penn plays the head of the SEAL team who rescues PFC Lynch. Though never known by any name other than "Commander Solo", it's rumored later he won a Silver Star for his actions. Penn, however, is arrested in a bar in Dubai during a break in shooting the film. It costs NBC $100,000 and two Mercedes to bail him out. It is later rumored that he and Madonna have gotten back together since Sean got tired of being married to Mrs. Forest Gump. He stays in the SF Bay area, and starts a web-based porno business in his Marin County house. Too early to tell whether it will be a success, but Madonna is the Creative Director, so it's got promise.

Bill Clinton plays Martin Sheen, delivering a protest speech that PFC Lynch sees on CNN while recuperating in Germany. Jessi's a little groggy when she sees the piece and it still it takes six SEALs to calm her down. (She thought Clinton had become President again!) Luckily for them, only one of the SEALs is seriously injured. Part of Clinton's scene was cut for "family" viewing - it was a close-up reverse angle shot showing Monica Lewinsky (playing herself) hiding under the lectern, operating the "tele-prompter" (that's what Bill calls it, don't yell at me!). Thanks to the producers, you can find it on the "Director's Cut" version of the DVD. Bill, always in character, is still doing what he does best, whatever that is. Oh yeah, the "Point-Counterpoint" thing with Dole on "60 Minutes"? It lasted one season, they both claimed victory, but "60 Minutes" ratings fell and they lost 2 share points in the Nielsens.

Janeane Garofalo plays a woman dressed in a burka on the road to Nasariyah holding up a sign that says "Yankee, si! Saddam, no!" No one has a clue what she means. (Kind of an easy role for her to play?) In fact, the only time we know it was her is when the movie is re-aired six months later on VH1 as the "Pop Up Video" of the week. They even freeze-framed it so you could read the sign, which you couldn't do at normal speed since the camera was on an M1A1 going about 40 miles an hour. Funny, no one has seen her since the movie was aired. Vague rumor in one Internet chat room that she'd met a Lebanese refugee called Ali in a bar in Basra, fell in love, and bought the bar. Purportedly, she sings while he tends bar. Sweet story - hope it's true.

Jacques Chirac plays Saddam Hussein. A born natural, he wins a special Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in Drama, gets a 5 minute standing "o" at the awards and parties into the night at Wolfgang Puck's with Courtney Love. They later head off in the limo to the John Belushi Memorial Bungalow at Chateau Marmont and do major quantities of cognac and cocaine until they pass out. When he comes to his senses, he resigns as French President and spends a year on Elba getting clean, both physically and mentally. He re-appears to great fanfare, and starts a new career as the international spokesperson for the new Iraqi Oil Corporation. He hires the same agent as Tony Robbins and Bill Clinton and gets $100,000 a pop for speaking engagements, where he presents a very well-scripted speech - "Bush Was Right, I Was Wrong." Jacques proves he was a pragmatist after all. It wasn't about the oil ... it was about the money!

Jean Chretien plays Uday Hussein. It's rumored that he was very disappointed that he didn't get to fully explore the nuances of his character. Since he had no spoken lines, it's a mystery as to what the hell Jean-boy was complaining about, but I guess most Canadians are already asking that question. He's truly rewarded a few years later when Quebec separates from Canada and he is designated Quebec's Ambassador to Iraq. His family and Chirac's buy a ski chalet in Gstaad where they spend most summers together.

Gerhard Schroeder plays Qusay Hussein. He kept screwing up his only line, which was "I'll have the veggie burger" (this was just before the first GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" hit the restaurant).When the director said "action!", Shroeder kept running into the street saying, "I was just following orders! I surrender!" They kept telling him that no one was actually going to bomb the place, and after a few beers and 23 takes, he finally pulled it off. Unfortunately, the sound was a bit off, so they had Arnold Schwarzenegger do a voiceover. Schroeder liked the finished product - so much so that he wished he'd thought of the voiceover thing about 20 years ago. He left public office when he wasn't re-elected Chancellor and it is rumored that he opened a Mercedes dealership in Buenos Aires, with "a few local investors who were friends of his father."

John Kerry plays Mohammed, the guy who tipped us off as to PFC Lynch's location. Though he didn't have a lot of screen time and only spoke ten words, he really clicked with the camera. John leaves the Senate the next day, disbands his effort to win the Democratic nomination for President, replaces Chris Matthews on MSNBC, and insists he isn't a Democrat but is a "moderate" neo-Conservative. He now has the highest-rated news show not on Fox News Channel. Oh yeah, the Massachusetts Democrats don't actually designate anyone to replace him, saying Teddy Kennedy's ass has gotten so big he needs two seats. But Teddy's sent back to a "coach-sized" seat the next year when Mitt Romney slam-dunks it in the special election.

Tom Daschle plays the guy who owns the restaurant that got bombed because the CIA thought the Husseins were in the house. He gets very little time on screen and you don't understand a word he says (another "art immitates life" performance.) Since he always looks like he's pulled an all-nighter, he is really convincing as the weary, haggard restranteur. So convincing that they ask him to star in a new HBO "original" about an aging, aimless hippy whose father dies and leaves him an investment banking firm to run (sort of a "Jerry Garcia Goes to Wall Street"). Not a very exciting idea on paper, but he goes for it anyway and resigns from the Senate. The Republicans get the Constitution amended so South Dakota only gets one Senate seat (jeez, there are only a couple of thousand people in South Dakota, isn't one enough?), so he doesn't get replaced. First season, the numbers on his show are better than "The Sopranos" and they ace out "Six Feet Under" for Best Drama at the Emmys.

Peter Arnett plays Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, a/k/a "Baghdad Bob." Seeing Peter in action, ABC re-starts "Politically Incorrect" and hires Arnett after they discover how really talented he is (compared to Bill Maher.) All the newspapers and wire services he'd just signed contracts with sue him and he claims the contracts aren't binding "because I had my fingers crossed behind my back." Petey, you rascal! He's second in his time slot, and that was good enough to get renewed after the first year.

Teddy Kennedy was the first Director, but got fired after the first month (had something to do with alcohol or young women - go figure!) and was replaced by Tim Robbins. Gotta' give him his props -- Timmy was great. He was nominated for Best Director, and he won it. Kennedy (thinking he deserved the award) showed up drunk at the awards ceremony and actually made it to the stage just as Robbins was about to deliver his acceptance speech. Oliver North (he was a winner that night, too, for his reporting as an "embed") took out Kennedy with a humanely delivered kick to the left testicle. That's what I call precision bombing, Ollie! Hoo-rah.

Al Gore, who was originally rumored to play The President (talk about dodging the same bullet twice!), did a cameo as a taxi driver in Baghdad. Al didn't want screen credit even though he had a spoken line. Funny, his line was: "You know, I used to be an agent for the Iraqi government." He was so convincing! Made you wonder. He supposedly moved to Florida and is testing the waters to see if he should run for mayor of Miami. He divorced Tipper and became Jennifer Lopez's sixth husband, thinking that would help with the vote in Miami. It was only at the wedding reception that P. Diddy told him she wasn't Cuban. He depressed.

I could do on, but you get the idea. Doing this will be cathartic for these guys. They'll feel better, we'll all feel better ...... wait ......oops, sorry, forgot the most important one ...

Hillary Clinton will play PFC Lynch. Given the remarkable difference in age ... and ... well ... size, Hill only agreed to do it after the producers agreed to pay for a facelift, breast augmentation, world-class liposuction, ankle transplant (she donated one and the other was enough to make two nice ones), many nips and tucks ... and a charisma bypass.

And she was great! Really convincing. She claimed it was her destiny to play this role since it could've just as easily have been her story. Sure. Right.

The funniest part happened on the set. Bill, having not heard about her transformation, walked up, pinched her on the ass and said something like "damn, woman, I know that ass, but what're you doin' here instead of South Beach." That wasn't the funny part. Hillary turns around and he does a perfect Mike Myers triple-take just as the reality hit him between the eyes that it was her. A nanosecond later, Janeane Garofalo jumped on top of him and beat the crap out of him, yelling things like "my bitch" ... "saw her first". PFC Lynch, on the set as a paid consultant (the producers felt bad and finally signed a contract paying her $250,000), had all three of them in restraints in about 15 seconds. But Bill couldn't take his eyes off the "new Hill" - poor guy, he sure didn't marry her for her looks, but now that she's got em, he can't have 'em. Life's a bitch.

Hillary didn't run in 2006 so she could devote full time to her movie career. She said she had been so wrong for 50 years about how just being smart was "enough." Now that she's got a couple of 36C's, and a booty to match, it looks like she's a lock to replace Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in "X-Men 3". And she left Bill, finally, formally, divorce decree and all. The only time they see each other is at class reunions in New Haven. He still hits on her; she still laughs and walks away.

Oh, yeah, PFC Lynch. What happens to her? She heals well - good immune system and a lotta' good home cookin' gets her back on her feet in no time. She buys her mom and dad a new house with her consulting fee from the movie, and she earns a million bucks for her book deal.

But then the big surprise -- not since World War II has it happened, but the Army gives her a battlefield commission, promoting her to 2nd Lieutenant. She then decides to make the Army her career, and not only does she complete her college education (night classes), she becomes a Special Ops helicopter pilot and participates in 25 highly-classified rescue operations throughout the World over the next five years. She makes it to Brigadier General, and her last job is as Deputy to the Commander In Chief, Central Command. She's the one giving the briefings during the occasional war of liberation. A few of the reporters remember her as a "teenage kid" who had a strong heart, a stronger will, and a great smile. She was "America's Soldier" in the "Three Week War," the only soldier that everyone, everyone knew by name.

Anyway, what d'ya think? I like it. I'd watch it. I'd even buy the DVD and put it right next to "Patton".


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