Wednesday, August 25, 2004

“I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time.”

The Movie: Broadcast News, 1987 (James L. Brooks, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Albert Brooks as TV news reporter Aaron Altman
The context: Aaron agrees to meet his colleague and love object, Jane (Holly Hunter), before he leaves town for a new job.
How to use it: To acknowledge friendships so long-standing that clear communication is no longer necessary.

My friend Maeve & I are making one last (for me) pilgrimage to Musso & Frank's tonight. Musso & Frank's is a Hollywood institution, a restaurant where the waiters still wear red coats (to distinguish them from the busboys, who wear green coats). The decor has hardly changed from the days when Charlie Chaplin and Raymond Chandler hung out there. The place is crowded with ghosts, but they're happy ghosts -- unlike, for example, the Willard Hotel in Washington, which is packed to the gills with ghosts who are miserable, bitter and angry.

I'd add a disclaimer here to the effect that I don't believe in ghosts, but whom would I be kidding? Of course I believe in ghosts. As with so many other things, I have an elaborate theory of ghosts -- which, strangely enough, hardly anyone ever asks me to expound.

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