Jason Reitman's Live Reads have long since gained "event" status on the West Coast and occasionally here in Toronto. Last year's TIFF event, a live reading of American Beauty won so many raves that I knew I had to be there for the live read of Boogie Nights, another 90s classic and one much dearer to my heart. ... My crotch? Somehow Boogie Nights played much dirtier read aloud which got me to appreciate the unbelievable balancing act of the movie all the more. Somehow Mark Wahlberg's dumb sweetness, Julianne Moore's eager-beaver maternal warmth, Melora Walters and Don Cheadle's lost soul puppy love and the entire cast's totally committed work in Paul Thomas Anderson's classic elevate the material (already great to begin with of course) into something both stylized and authentic and totally endearing.
This time through without the visuals what I appreciated most was the comic glories of its dimwitted poetry. Like this from Dirk:
You don't know what I can do! You don't know what I can do, what I'm gonna do, or what I'm gonna be! I'm good! I have good things that you don't know about! I'm gonna be something! I am! And don't fucking tell me I'm not!
Or literal dimwitted poetry like this from Reed...
I love you, you love me | Going down the sugar tree | We'll go down the sugar tree, and see lots of bees: playing, playing | But the bees won't sting, because you love me