Some people despise stories of privileged angst, but me? I love them. As Cherry put it in The Outsiders, “Things are rough all over.” Watching a character like Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere (Disc/Download) makes me feel just a little bit better about my own world. Unhappiness is the great equalizer—it doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, famous or invisible. Personally, I’d rather watch unhappiness take root in a luxury hotel full of swimming pools and celebrities. To each their own.
This quiet, contemplative film about a movie star reconnecting with his daughter was Coppola’s third feature, and the comparisons to Lost in Translation are inevitable. Shot on location at The Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, it offers a similar glimpse of celebrity, and the loneliness that often accompanies it. As Johnny, Stephen Dorff is bored, lost, and drifting. He rolls through the streets of Hollywood in his Ferrari, searching for anything that will give him a brief moment of pleasure. But it isn’t until his eleven-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) comes to stay with him that we see glimpses of life behind his dead eyes. He’s trying hard to be the father she deserves, even though deep down he feels like a fraud. But it’s the trying that tugs at my heartstrings—I want the Johnny who orders every flavor of gelato from room service to be the one who sticks around for her forever.
Speaking of gelato, this movie makes me hungry for it in a big way. When Johnny and Cleo go to Milan for a film premiere, they’re gifted a lavish hotel suite complete with its own pool. They order room service late at night, watching Italian-dubbed Friends to cure their jet-lag. Whether you’re holed up in a Milan suite, lounging poolside at the Chateau Marmont, or just sweating in a hammock in East Austin, this drink will get you through summer. While watching Somewhere, I recommend drinking a Limoncello Float.
1 oz Limoncello
1 oz Grand Marnier
Combine Limoncello and Grand Marnier in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass. Top with champagne (enough to fill the glass ¾ full), then a scoop of Gelato.
Watching this movie, it’s clear that Johnny is drifting. I don’t even need to see him floating on a pool raft to confirm, though it is a gorgeous shot (hell, every shot of this film is gorgeous). And the thing is, every one of us has felt stuck at some point, unable to figure out what we want or how to get it, letting ourselves just be carried along until inspiration strikes. I have not been, nor will I ever be famous, but in this case, I feel like a real Hollywood movie star. Now fetch me ALL the gelato, please. Cheers!