I’ll never forget the first time Tuomas came to New York. As it is in the city, he spent a lot of time getting to know our family and friends over long lunches and deli dinners. After a few days and as many pastrami sandwiches, he told me we’d crushed his love of Woody Allen movies like a cockroach on the sidewalk. Until then, he thought Alvy Singer, Isaac Davis and all of Woody Allen’s characters were just that – characters.
The truth is New York is full of neurotic navel-gazers. I don’t know many people who haven’t spent years psychoanalyzing the emotional damage done by their mothers. Our romantic relationships generally play out like an episode of Seinfeld. And I can’t even count the times a friend or loved one has called to break the devastating news about what they’re sure must be an inoperable brain tumour. We’re self-loathing, self-conscious and self-centred all at the same time. And Woody Allen is our poster boy.
This past week, like most people with access to the internet, I read Dylan Farrow’s open letter in the Times telling the city, Hollywood and the world about the molestation she says happened at the… “hand” of her father. As I read her words, I thought two things. First, how can you doubt the words of a girl who has been the victim of such a terrible crime? Second, I don’t believe this girl was the victim of this terrible crime.
That’s not to say that she’s not a victim. Like many of us, she’s definitely the victim of neurotic parents, a crazy family and a crazy world. And it’s easy to understand why she, many of her 14 siblings and her mother are pissed off at her dad. I would be too. But being married to the 35-years-younger daughter of your ex-girlfriend and half-sister of your son (hey, it happens) isn’t technically a crime.
And speaking of crimes, I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t it libel or slander or something along those lines to publicly accuse someone of a crime that the authorities have declined to ever prosecute? Not that Woody Allen’s response was much better in that sense, as it included speculation on the paternity of his and Mia Farrow’s “biological” son (he does look a lot like Frank Sinatra) and direct accusations that Farrow is responsible for brainwashing their daughter Dylan into believing she’s been victimized. I’m not a forensic psychiatrist either, but somehow Woody Allen’s story just rings more believable.
The details of what he said and she said are really better read for yourself than retold here by me. But the craziest part of the whole crazy story is that we’re not watching it on the big screen, we’re reading about it on Twitter and in the New York Times. And it includes more details about these people’s lives, demons and neuroses than most people tell their therapists in a lifetime. The only thing missing is comedy.
Anyway, I have to go. I have a headache. It must be from staring at the computer screen. Unless… Oh my God… I think it’s getting worse as I’m writing this. And now I feel a strange tingling sensation in the pinky toe on my left foot. Oh God, it’s cancer or polio or an aneurism, I know it is! Call an ambulance, call my therapist! And please ask them to have a pastrami sandwich waiting for me when I get there.
Roll the credits,