' ' Cinema Romantico: 5 Actresses To Play Jesse Wallace's Ex-Wife

Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Actresses To Play Jesse Wallace's Ex-Wife

I recently re-took the distressing “Before Midnight” plunge after avoiding it for a year and a couple months after having my ardent (pitiful) Jesse & Celine Idealism shattered. And. Well. Yeah. It still hurt. I came around to seeing the ending in a bit more of a positive light – not positive as in “good” but positive as in “happy” – but not entirely. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. And in other ways, it was an even more brutal emotional experience than the first go-around. So brutal, in fact, that I unleashed yet another essay regarding my relationship with these films. And. Well. Yeah. I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. I almost trashed the whole thing. Not because I wasn’t pleased with it but because it kinda freaked me out. Perhaps I’ll put the post up on my birthday because an emotionally terrifying post coinciding with my birthday totally seems Cinema Romantico-esque.

Anyway, in lieu of that post, I still got to thinking. Because I’m always getting to thinking, if not about interesting things, per se, at least about things that I find “interesting” at which point I subject my few loyal readers who haven’t already flown this cinematic coop on account of my Katy Perry references to ponderings about them. ANYWAY, I got to thinking about the character in “Before Midnight” who is never seen but still a major player – that is, The Other Woman. The one to whom Jesse was previously married and gave birth to his son and whom he left Celine for because Jesse was meant to be with Celine because the world is perfect and wonderful (it isn’t). She is a major player because, as we learn, she moved Jesse’s son out of New York under the cover of darkness to limit her ex-spouse’s visitation rights. Cold. About as cold as the ways in which she’s referenced. In order, she is referred to as being “drunk and abusive psychologically”, possessing “the mother instinct of Medea” and – oh boy, here we go – “a hateful cunt” (Celine’s words! CELINE’S WORDS!!!).

So let’s say in nine years when “After Noon” (it’s a play on words) is released that Linklater, based upon our above criteria, wants to cast the ex-Ms. Wallace. To whom does he turn?

5 Actresses To Play Jesse Wallace's Ex-Wife

Marisa Tomei

Well, obviously. I mean, she should be in everything after all.

Winona Ryder

I concede both the predictability of this choice and its blatant self-referentialism, that casting the woman who acted opposite Hawke in the angstiest of angst fests, “Reality Bites”, would be an in-joke of epic proportions in a film series that should have nothing to do with in-jokes. And yet. Set all past history aside and simply envision Ms. Ryder in a metaphorical vaccum as a woman with “the mother instinct of Medea.” Yeah, you did.

Amy Adams

If you thought “The Fighter” was against type, this would totally go against the “Enchanted”, Probably The Nicest Person In The Whole World grain, and she could do it. Beware all ye who doubt the versatile skillz of AA. (I’m also assuming that in nine years she’ll have six Oscars and can just get cast in whatever she wants.)

Rosemarie DeWitt

God. God, what I would give to see Rosemarie DeWitt bust out the scoff face as Jesse does his Verbal Scat thing and then just cut him off and lay a titanic DeWitt-ish “You're so full of shit” on him. “I know what you’re doing, Jesse, okay? You’re answering all my questions with questions. I mean, I know you think you’re being really cagey, but you’ve used this same evasive methodology since I met you. It’s pretty obvious. And by the way, shoehorning a Dostoevsky reference into the middle of an argument? There’s no peanut gallery. There aren’t judges awarding you literary style points.” GOD, what I’d give.

Rachelle LaFevre

I am not a movie casting director because if I was a movie casting director I would do things like cast Billy Dee Williams as Batman and cast Kate Beckinsale as a version of Guinevere that told that charlatan Arthur and that lip server Lancelot what to go do with themselves and ruled the kingdom her damn self, but still… I like to imagine casting directors having epiphanies like the one Eddie Adams from Torrance had in the hot tub in “Boogie Nights.” And that was exactly the kind of epiphany I had when considering who should play Jesse Wallace’s ex-wife. When I close my eyes, I see this thing, a sign, I see this name in bright blue neon lights with a purple outline. And this name is so bright and so sharp that the sign, it just blows up because the name is so powerful. Rachelle LaFevre.


Alex Withrow said...

Love this post. I hope this makes sense, but, to me, Tomei and Adams are too perfect looking for the role. Does that make sense? Hell, is that even fair? Either way, here’s to hoping they end up making After Noon after all.

Derek Armstrong said...

My vote is for DeWitt, even before you included that perfectly withering speech. But how interesting would it be if she ended up being a Julie Delpy lookalike?

Nick Prigge said...

Alex: I totally get what you're saying. That makes sense. Although I also feel like Amy Adams, if they asked her to or if she decided it was necessary, would try to downplay her glamour for the part.

Vance: Ha! I LOVE that thought! A Delpy lookalike! Flashback to the scene when Celine & the ex-wife meet and they look each other up and down and they both look at Jesse and Jesse just shrugs.