Monday, 17 September 2012

HOW I LOST MY TIFF VIRGINITY TO KRISTEN WIIG

ASIDE FROM THE GRIN THAT'S ABOUT TO ENGULF MY ENTIRE HEAD, 
I'm playing it pretty cool after realizing I'm sitting beside actor Tai Bennett at TIFF.

This may be more information than any of you needed, but if I let that stop me, this blog wouldn't even exist. So the information is: I am no longer a TIFF virgin. After many years of saying "I should do it," I finally did it. I went to the Toronto International Film Festival. And because "first times" aren't always great, I made sure to do it with a trusted friend who has done TIFF many times and knows what she's talking about. As in:
  • "No you are NOT wearing those ridiculous red stilettos because we're going to be walking and lining up for hours."
  • "No we are NOT bringing your life-sized Ryan Gosling doll; Ryan won't be there and even if he was, he wouldn't sign that thing." 
  • "No we are NOT staying up till 2 a.m. the night before, talking about your blog and thinking of rude words that rhyme with Kardashian. We have to be there at 7 a.m. to get tickets. Good night."
And she was right about everything. (Except my Ryan Gosling doll. I've never been away from him for quite that long and it just didn't feel right. Then when I got home he was in an entirely different position than the one I left him in, so he clearly had some kind of episode.)
I didn't realize TIFF entailed so much walking and waiting and lining up and I was a little cranky about that at first. But just when I was on the verge of barking, "This is crap! I HATE TIFF!" in that drama queen way that always emerges when my bladder is full, my stomach is empty and my feet hurt, the lights went down and my very first TIFF movie began.  
And that's when everything changed.

We saw Imogene with Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon. People laughed and cried and chatted with strangers sitting beside them and interacted with the show in a way you don't see at regular screenings. It was, quite simply, magical.
Next, we saw The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a political thriller starring Liev Shrieber, Kate Hudson and a knock-your-socks-off Riz Ahmed. I was really getting into TIFF mode now, so before it started I chatted up the urbane young man sitting beside me, who told me he was visiting from Los Angeles and had seen oodles of movies that weekend, including "John Dies At the End." 
"I've heard of that," I said. "How was it?"
"I liked it," he said. "I'm in it, but I have to say I liked it."
Wait. What? So I'm losing my TIFF virginity AND I'm seeing awesome movies AND I'm sitting beside an actual actor? Well of course I do what anyone would do. I tousle my hair fetchingly and shove my cellphone at my friend.

"Psst, girlfriend, quick, take my picture with this guy before the movie starts. He's a celebrity!" 

Editor's note: Geez, this woman. "Me! Me! Me!" What she fails to mention and what is far more interesting than the state of her bladder or her hair is the fact that the actor she met has a name. That being Tai Bennett, in case any of you want to watch for him in John Dies at the End. (And I sure hope he doesn't play "John." Because that guy dies, at the end.)