Friday, January 06, 2006

An open letter to Eugene Levy

Dear Eugene,

May I have a moment of your time? Thanks.

We've never been best friends. Your Tiger Beat likeness never graced my walls like Elijah Wood, but I always respected the Second City TV group. "A Mighty Wind" was brilliant. Ditto for "Best in Show." So it pains me to walk past bus stops and open the Times' Art section and see your mug popping up trying to sell me both "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" and that direct-to-video American Pie Band Camp garbage. The expression on your face on the CBTD2 is especially painful. It's a shot of Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, all 12 kids, and then sad little you craning your neck into the picture like "Hey guys! Can I play too?"

Maybe you have gambling debts I don't know about. Perhaps Steve has nude photos of you. It's unclear what's going on in your life.

I have a simple request for you: Hire an accountant. You surely have made a little money from your lengthy career. Invest that money now. Here's a good web site: They'll tell you everything you need to know.

I'd like you to emulate Ben Stein. He's been a Nixon speech writer, a gameshow host, and even turned a bit part - essentially consisting of the word Bueller - into a quoteable masterpiece. Maybe you could corner him at a dinner party or something and talk shop. He's probably a guy you'd be competing with for a lot of roles - uptight older white male needed for goofy straightman father-figure spots.

But you don't see him shilling for his supper in movies that even Jason Biggs, the boy who fucked a pie, turned down. Was Tara Reid too busy falling off nightclub tables to stop in for a cameo at ol' bandcamp? Not you though, your schedule was wide open. I know many of your better movies are minimally scripted to allow for improvising. And while the outcome is great, it does leave you with one fewer thing to take care of. Perhaps you could take up another hobby of some sort.

If I could leave you with a closing thought: Remember, you were nominated a Razzie - but lost - for your role as a goofball truant officer in "New York Minute". You can't even lose at losing. It's been the Olsen twins' only unsuccessful project to date. (Mary-Kate's rehab and NYU attempts notwithstanding.)

Best of luck in the new year, and if I see you on a poster for "Snow Dogs 2: The ride of your life" I'm going to be forced to call Ben Stein myself for an intervention.