It’s always nice to find out a certain type of actor is a weird, smart and funny person IRL, and doesn’t just play one on TV. For instance, I’ve always been sort of suspicious that Jesse Eisenberg stops stuttering and behaves like Neil Patrick Harris in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle in his spare time, and maybe he does, but he also writes a hilarious column for McSweeney‘s called “Bream Gives Me Hiccups: Restaurant Reviews From A Privileged Nine-Year-Old,” so it’s okay.
In this series, Jesse’s fictional protagonist goes around to different restaurants with his bitter, sarcastic, alcoholic mother trying and evaluating various foodstuffs. Sometimes his “best friend” Matthew goes along for the ride, and we get to see his horrible mother insinuate that her son could be turning out gay, and that that’s a bad thing. Witness, for example, the latest installment, “TCBY,” in which mom takes the boys for a bit of frozen yogurt:
Matthew ordered a Mountain Blackberry Yogurt. He said that he got it because it’s the most interesting color, which is a kind of light purple, but which Matthew called “Mauve.” “Mauve” is a word I never heard before and hearing new words is one of the reasons I like Matthew. When I asked why he didn’t get the flavor he liked the most, he said he thought that all the flavors probably tasted the same and so it was best to get something that was “pretty to look at.” Mom rolled her eyes two times: when Matthew said “Mauve” and when Matthew said “pretty to look at.”
The woman behind the counter asked Matthew what he wanted for toppings and he said Blueberries and Cherries. And then the woman said, “You just want two fruits?” Then Mom said, “Yup! Two fruits for my two little fruits!” And then Mom laughed in a cackling way that made everyone uncomfortable. When Mom finally stopped laughing, she said, “Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself,” and then we felt uncomfortable again.
When the woman asked me what I wanted, I decided to get the same thing as Matthew because he thought about his order in such an interesting way.
Mom ordered a cup of Dutch Chocolate Yogurt and asked if the chocolate was really shipped in from the Netherlands. The girl said she didn’t know but that she could check. Then Mom told her not to bother and said that she’ll get a cup of Dutch Chocolate because it’s “so decadent.” But I could tell by the way that Mom asked about the Netherlands and how she said “so decadent” that she was making fun of TCBY for being not fancy but the girl behind the counter didn’t know Mom’s sense of humor so she said something real like, “it’s one of our classic flavors.” And Mom said, “Oh, it sounds like a real classic.”
I love the way Jesse reveals his character’s feelings towards his mother, which are fairly realistic for a precocious nine-year-old just starting to realize what a messed up person his mom is. The real star of the show, though, is the mom, whose nasty lines of dialogue are funny because they’re so very inappropriate. Much like the “You Suck At Photoshop” series, this column is great because it’s not really about restaurants at all, but a dysfunctional family, as told through the eyes of a bright and innocent little boy. I can’t wait until this series gets made into a movie by Wes Anderson. (Seriously, go here and read them all because they are brilliant.)
(Via The New York Observer)
Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com