Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Patrick Swayze, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar

For years my mother has shipped to me via Media Mail the magazines that she reads on a weekly basis. Because of that I have a pile high of magazines like In Style, Hello, US, and OK in the bathroom because I only read the gossip rags when I'm on the can so I can wash my hands afterwards. (In her defense, she also sends Time, Newsweek, The Nation, and other magazines for the intelligentsia which I read out in the living room in front of a roaring fire. I did ask her to stop sending Reader's Digest.)

Patrick Swayze in Donnie Darko

Having said that, I just caught up with Patrick Swayze's death. I always liked him. I didn't LOVE him. I liked him. He was very good as the motivational speaker with pedophiliac tendencies in Donnie Darko. He also played a drag queen in 1995's To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. The movie was ostensibly groundbreaking as major Hollywood stars (including a muscular Wesley Snipes and a manic John Leguizamo) took the lead as drag queens for the first time. The movie is not believable by any stretch of the imagination. It's not even that great (certainly when compared to the earlier and much better Australian effort The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) but it does boast good performances by Stockard Channing and a host of A-list supporting actors.

As I wandered in and out of consciousness waiting for the film to end I wondered how they contacted Julie Newmar to tell her they were naming a movie after her. I imagine it went something like this.

Julie we're naming a movie after you.

You're kidding me. You're naming a movie after me. What's it called?

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

That's wonderful. I don't know what to say. I don't know what it means but it's wonderful. You are the sweetest, nicest guys. Thank you for naming a movie after me. Can I get something for it?

What do you mean?

Well, you're naming a movie after me; people are going to come and see it because my name is in the title. How about a point off the top. And 75 % of the gross? Something. Anything because my name's on it.

A point? 75% of the gross? That's a lot Julie. Especially when compared to the amount of people that will come and see it because your name is in the title. How about if we pay you a one time fee?

One time fee? And you get to use my name whenever, whenever?

Yea, we don't have a lot of money.


We'll even give you a cameo.

A one time fee and a small yet pivotal role?


A million dollars.

Um, that's alot. Patrick Swayze isn't even making that much. 50,000?

OK. 50,000 and I'll do it.

You drive a hard bargain.

I'm Julie Newmar.

RIP Patrick Swayze.

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