LIFE IS HARD. It seems like every new day brings a new question that, try as you might, you’re just unable to find an answer for. The Smoking Jacket understands this, and we’re here to help. TSJ’s editor, Melissa Bull, and Headshots’ columnist, Mike Spry, set aside some time in their busy schedules to answer your questions in a feature we’ve cleverly named “Ask TSJ.”
This week’s incredible question comes from our friend Ben. And you know how they say a friend in need is a friend indeed.
Dear Melissa and Mike,
I know you get tons of letters, but please, please, please answer mine. So you know, I’m a screenwriter and film director. A few years ago I was dating this girl. She was the love of my life. I couldn’t imagine existence without her. But, then she left me. No note. Not explanation. Just one day, gone. So after about a year of binge drinking, I use her and our relationship as the basis for a screenplay. The script ends up being optioned, and finds its way to a rather prominent Hollywood producer. They’d offered my $2 million for the script and are giving me $12 million to make the feature. Problem is, last month I got back together with the girl. I still love her, and she loves me. But she says she doesn’t want our lives on screen, and that if I make the movie she’s gone again, this time for good.
What do I do?
Ben from Toronto
Everyone uses each other to make art, Ben, it’s the way of the world. Tell Miss X Picasso painted his greatest lady-loves and most of his wives too, tell her Leonard Cohen wrote monotone melodies of beautiful poetry for real live ladies, and Woody Allen cribbed his GFs’ entire lives and turned them from Joe-Shmo-Regulars to Oscar-winning neurotic comedies. And look how great that show Girls has taken off, also totally based on real life cribbing.
To be immortalized as a muse and become rich by association to boot, what more does Miss X or any partner want? Plus millenials don’t believe in privacy. Look at the world — it’s proof.
On the other hand… Now you’re so richie rich — and richie rich for being sensitive — you will find you have become a giant magnet. A sexy magnet. You will have new-found sexy gravitational powers to flex, and interesting people will be pulled toward you. Magnetically. People like ladies. New ones.
Pick one who digs your success. Pick those ones for your new friends, too. Not hangers on-ers. Real, happy to be happy for you types.
Then write another movie, eh?
Well, Ben, they say money can’t buy happiness, but that’s bullshit. Take the cash, and the opportunity to make a film. It’s your life, your past, your history, your mythology as much as it is hers. She doesn’t own it. You share it. You’ve got equal custody.
Of course, you are playing high stakes love poker, and I’d call this girl’s bluff. It can go one of three ways:
1. She leaves you, doesn’t come back, and BOOM, you’ve got a sequel.
2. She stays, you make the movie, and she sees the error of her ways, apologizes, and does that thing you like. TWICE!
3. She leaves, the film goes huge, you’re hitting red carpets with a Jenner sister, and girlie’s calling you day and night begging for a third chance.
Break a leg, Ben.
Got a question for Melissa and Mike? CLICK HERE and fire away. If we use it… your life will improve immediately.