icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content

Jan Marshall

An Open Letter to Woody Allen Regarding the Film ‘Blue Jasmine’

Dear Woody, We really have to talk. Once again I must kvetch. Jasmine is not your usual Woody Allen film. Actually since the last century there has not been a usual Woody film; that is, one with the belly laugh type of humor that attracted me to you. Please be clear Mr. Woody; it is not that I do not want you to grow as a person or as filmmaker. But consider this; Does Toyota assemble underwear? Does Hagen-Daz make Formica tables? Everyone has a specialty and generally stays with it, perhaps ever so gently exploring other fields. Not you. You have possibly and perhaps only in my opinion, partially relinquished what is truly the best part of you. Being one of the funniest people and judge of the neurosis’s of humans that ever was. Freud was a piker compared to you. I do not mean to be critical. I must point out that I truly adore you. Frankly, till my laser surgery I only dated men who resembled you. In truth, it is really a wonderful film though I did get a little nauseous with constant past and present switch. Then again I ran out of mustard and put mayo on my pastrami snack that I sneaked into the theater. Those two ingredients should never be in the same room at the same time according to folk lore. In this film we see stunning homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons that I would move into this minute if we were together. As usually your choice of music is divine and spot on. I was almost removed from the theater as I danced and swirled across the aisles. No doubt you are a master at casing as well. The choice of Andrew Dice Clay (who could have ever imagined) who did, by the way, an excellent job and the always terrific Bobby Cannavale was genius choices. The film is both intriguing and heart breaking. Once can’t help thinking of the Madoff mess no matter your intention. Yet, brilliant as it was it had no chuckles which is part of my attraction to you and of course the physical thing. What does linger in this whole viewing experience is probably the best acting ever in this century with your choice of the luminous Cate Blanchett who should receive an Oscar, Emmy, a cronut, two snaps and any other award in existence. We have so much in common Woody. Both of us are Brooklyn born. I too, had Friday Family Fun night where my folks exchanged gun fire or gum at the weekly ritual depending on how the brisket browned. It is well known that certain disagreements about white fish caused massive violence in your own home. Well, my grandma almost perished while weighing a perch and we switched to Sashimi on Shabbes, which was so traumatic. Woody. it is as if we are twins. I‘ve been silent until now, because of the NSA’s involvement with the IRS and the FCC’s plus their conflict with the rest of the alphabet. I say PU! I am now taking a stand. So about Jasmine: you should know I had to coerce my lover to attend the movie with me and he promptly went into a coma until the gorgeous radiant Cate Blanchette appeared. Such magnificence. She is one of the truly finest actors of all time. He particularly loved her purses. Your recent movies are interesting and so are you. I miss my old Woody, though. Let us settle this. I want to help you discover when you had a laughectomy. Come to California. Cheese fondling is no longer a felony in LA so you will not be apprehended. Finally my dear friend; funny is what you do better than anyone. So ... do it already. I am going Bananas here. Don’t make get up, Woody. I have a gub. Love, Jan P.S. I have seen Hana and her sisters seven times but you ... I never hear from!   

Dear Benji

To: Benjamin Franklin From: Yo Momma July 1777 Benji, why haven’t I heard from you? While you were signing all those declarations and had the quill out couldn't you drop me a line? I received your thank you note for the Chinese urn, but I hoped for a real letter. Not that your letters are always cheerful. Why do you still resent being one of seventeen children? You had to wear hand-me-downs. So? Your sister isn't that much bigger than you. If you’re so smart, why didn't you tell your father that an ounce of prevention was worth — well, never mind. Ben, there are a couple of things I want to talk to you about. I heard you were seen in Congress last week wearing those stupid tiny spectacles called granny glasses? Are you a granny? No! So stop it! Get something more fashionable. Speaking of luck, you are pushing yours. Everyone knows about your little escapades. If you’re not careful, your wife — what’s-her-name — is sure to find out. I've learned about the new one you’re sneaking around with, Penny Pupnik. Ben, listen to your mother, I’m telling you for your own good. The next time you are with her and you hear your wife approaching, you’d better hide her in the vase. Believe me, a Penny urned is a Penny saved. Oh, stop groaning. Speaking of smashing, that’s exactly what I wanted to do to your nose after I read your latest remark: “When man and woman die as poets have sung, his heart’s the last that moves; her last the tongue.” That was so typically choov ... Chauvin ... shavinis ... well, you know what I mean. One more slur like that and you’ll have to change the name of your almanac to “Poor Benny’s.” By the way, there is no k in the word “almanac,” sweetheart. I’m worried about your instability. You have been a cartoonist, a printer, an editor, an inventor, a scientist, a philosopher, a statesman ... I mean, how do you think that looks on your employment application in these tough times? Frankly, Benji, I think you need counseling which is the actual purpose of this letter. I’ve learned about a wonderful new therapy group. I’m sure you’ll benefit from it. A couple of the people attending may be in worse shape than you, believe me, so you needn't be shy. One of them, Marie Curie, insists on being called Madame, of all things. Anyway, her husband persuaded her to attend the meeting because she cannot cook worth a darn. He says every time she goes into the kitchen he hears pots rattling and things bubbling on the fire, but when he asks “What’s for dinner?” she says “Nothing!” It is driving him nuts. Then there’s a man named Morse. What a nervous Nelly he is! Can’t sit still for a minute without tapping his fingers — on tables, chairs, anything he gets his hands on. Just don’t sit next to him unless you need a massage. I think this twelve-step program would be good for you. Listen, Benji, I only want you to find yourself — to be happy. Perhaps, if you listen to your mother, you’ll amount to something. Most of all remember what you yourself told me. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him ... ” Just what the heck does that mean? Get help! Love, Mummy

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More

News & Opinion from Senior Correspondents Across the Globe