Boys in my hood
Anyway, Michael "Basic Inhale" Douglas heads outside and tokes up in the backyard. He tries to get 56 consecutive hits off his joint as he watches Sara and Walter argue through a window. I remember this one time in college when some friends and I went to a faculty party stoned off our uh, never mind. By the way: Hi, mom. Douglas notices Tobey Maguire standing at the end of the driveway. He walks over, and we get a weird Sergio Leone-style gunfighter shot of the two of them facing off in the driveway. Tobey is carrying a little toy pistol. He explains that it belonged to his mother, and he carries it for luck. Douglas offers him a hit, but Tobey refuses, saying, "I don't like to lose control of my emotions." I don't know about that. I've seen a lot of Tobey's movies, and I'm not sure he actually has any emotions. He certainly never shows them. The boy looks like he was carved out of the finest mahogany. They chat for a few minutes, and clean up most of the remaining exposition. Tobey isn't like Michael's other students. Michael isn't like Tobey's other professors. Tobey isn't dating Katie, and he's a very fast writer. There. That's pretty much everything you need to know for the rest of the movie. Their task complete, Michael tells Tobey there's something inside he wants to show him.
They sneak back into the house, only to be busted by Katie. Everyone is heading over to the WordFest itself. Just then, RDJ and Antonia come down the steps, with wrinkled clothes and a post-coital glow. RDJ is thrilled to meet Tobey, who conveys nervous anxiety by looking down and to the left. That's it. Down and to the left. Down and to the left. Katie makes the film's one concession to contrived dialogue when she points out apropos of nothing that Tobey knows all about suicidal movie stars. And she's not kidding either. He reels off a list of about a dozen celebs who offed themselves, including Dorothy Dandridge, William Inge, George Reeves (TV's Superman), and Lupe Velez. Most of them were drug related, and I can't help but notice that RDJ is listening to all this quite intensely. Having read the novel this film is based on many years ago, I was anxiously awaiting this scene from the moment I found out that Downey had been cast. Now that it's here, I'm forced to admit that it was weird and more than a little unsettling. It's also important to know that RDJ is doing some full-throttle flirting with Tobey while he lists the names. Anyway, Katie, Antonia, and RDJ head off to WordFest. Douglas leads Tobey upstairs.