The Observer writes a fawning piece today about former LA party girl turned newly-minted downtown queen Kirsten Dunst, touting the actress's low-key demeanor, her vintage slingbacks and Ray-Bans gestalt, and every other imagined quality that's bestowed, vainly by its residents, upon any "thoughtful" boho celebrity who moves to this city. New York makes celebrities relatable and funky and, most important of all, just like us!, the thinking seems to be. Except, sigh, it's all kind of pretend.
It all began when actor couple Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams moved to shady brownstone Brooklyn. You couldn't read any one damn thing about either of them without the author slipping in something about their hip, unassuming New York lifestyle. The same could be said for Keri Russell and her new family (yes, I'm as guilty as anyone else), Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, etc. Nearly everything written about these actors makes mention of New York City as if it's some sort of positive personality trait. And, yeah, I've fallen prey to the same kind of thinking, but isn't it time we just gave up the ghost and admitted that it's just as bad as the celebrity pandering in Los Angeles (or anywhere else)?
At least it's out in the open elsewhere. Here there's just the illusion of blended-in-ness, when really everyone is spying and tittering and penning sycophant newspaper articles about how Kirsten Dunst is the kind of girl you'd never think to write newspaper articles about. It's gotten a bit silly and exhausting, seeing the collective nose so high up in the air. There are interesting, talented celebrities who live in LA, just as there are famehound idiots who live here. I mean, it's gotten to the point where Steve Guttenberg has moved to the city in the hopes of chipping off some of that sweet, sweet locally-gifted cultural cachet. And that's kind of a disaster.