My Birthday Present: A Night with Lena Dunham
Rob gave me the best birthday present ever. It put my Best of CVS Gift to shame.
I don't know how he did it, but he got me tickets to a screening of the movie This Is My Life followed by an on-stage conversation between Lena Dunham and Delia Ephron. I knew the night was going to be good when I stepped out of my cab alone and Lena was also stepping out of her town car. I had that stop-smile-nod-say hi-moment. Then her assistant said, "Lena, stop! I want to take your picture. Oh this damn flash!" Lena stood alone in front of the MoMA and smiled. I love that she's still taking pictures in front of buildings. Totally genuine, like for her mom or scrapbook. She was so approachable and almost vulnerable standing there smiling. I had a fleeting moment when I wanted to jump in the picture with her. Instead I stared and watched.
We walked into the museum together and went our separate ways. She met up with friends (surprisingly old grown-up-parent-type friends) in the lobby while I waited for my friend Samantha Hahn. I don't spend nearly enough time with her. This was our first time hanging out without kids. Isn't that the best? To finally have a conversation with girlfriends without constant interruptions? I love Sam. I hope she doesn't mind me calling her that.
Sam and I walked into the theatre to watch This Is My Life. I cried from the moment it started until it ended. It wasn't even meant to be a tear jerker. I just related to it so much. I wanted to shout out, "No one understands this movie like me! You all think you do, but, no! I do the most!" I love that feeling.
The movie deals with simple issues just about every woman can relate to: sister relationships, work-life balance, mother-daughter relationships, using your life for writing material. In the end, Lena basically said everyone in her life is material. I wish I could be that brave. I've got some good material/people totally going to waste.
I kept wondering why this movie wasn't a huge hit. It was made in 1992, the soundtrack is by Carly Simon, and it has a fabulous cast. Someone in the audience asked this question to Delia Ephron (she co-wrote the film with her sister Nora). She shrugged her shoulders and said, "It didn't go over well with audiences. It had a minimal release in New York and LA, that's it. I really don't know why. Just one of those things."
As soon as I got home, I ordered a copy. I had to have it in my life. I plan on having a movie night to introduce it to all my friends. But first, I have to buy a DVD player.