THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONED (2013)
Paolo di Leo: “Rome is a very old city. Three-thousand years. How old are you? Fifty?”
Most remakes of classic Hollywood films are usually the same old sad, boring, vapid, vacuous versions of once scintillating Silver Screen Magic Movie Classics gone stale…
But occasionally, my dears, a sudden surprising shocking remake unexpectedly pops up and turns me on—especially if I feel like making out with the remake’s young male star.
Warren Beatty didn’t particularly turn me on back then in the ancient days of 1961—back when he played this so-called Italian gigolo bent (and I do mean ‘bent’ my dears) on seducing Vivien Leigh and taking her for everything she was worth. And then some.
Disillusioned, dejected, depressed—once vivacious Vivien Leigh comes to the rude realization that her beauty and charms are fading rather quickly. And like so many of the same old maudlin queens of Tennessee Williams’ classic melodramas—she realizes that time is running out.
Vivien Leigh says “You see... I don't leave my diamonds in the soap dish... and when the time comes when nobody desires me... for myself... I'd rather not be... desired... at all.”
It happens to the best of us, honey—despite our millions, our relentless cosmetic surgery, our puffy Botox lips injections, plus our various and sundry illicit secret organ transplants and tummy tucks to keep the silly façade going on…
Surely a remake of ROMAN SPRING is sort of like that, I suppose. A kind of wretched resurrection of the Living Dead—a feeble last-breath attempt to catch once again the faded charm of a Roman Holiday, being somewhat young and carefree once again. Ah, the folly of it all, my dears…
But low and behold, every once in awhile—some fickle foppish fool down there in Los Angeles might decide to attempt the tired old possibility of a Classic Remake all over once again.
Hollywood Babylon is known for those kinds of flirty fabulous fabled Fantasy “Come Back” Nostalgia games—just like poor forlorn silent screen star Norma Desmond plotting her great “Come-Back” Film once again.
You know, like some incredibly insane Gloria Swanson—there in the rotting wreckage of her huge tacky Sunset Blvd moody mansion. Dreaming away her own personal Dickens-esque return to Fame and Glory—GREAT EXPECTATIONS coming back again!!!
Of course, Director Billy Wilder knew the usual motivating underlying Secret of the aging Hollywood Movie Heroines—like lovely Norma Desmond, beautiful Karen Stone and bitter old reclusive Miss Havisham.
After all he was a Weimar dancehall gigolo and kept man—not much different than William Holden who played Joe Gillis the down & out Hollywood scriptwriter who ends up dead in Norma Desmond’s Sunset Blvd swimming pool.
Billy Wilder was a lot like Lotte Lenya—except he went beyond being merely just a Weimar pimp and instead became a Hollywood madame for millions and millions of American moviegoers.
Now it’s over fifty years—since the original THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS STONE appeared. My how time flies!!!—and now Hollywood has come out with a new version of this sexy sad sullen film classic: THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONED.
Classic movies are usually just antiquated films from some long-ago bygone Hollywood era—more like old pawn shop second-hand has-beens and used items when compared with their once brand new, beautiful, well-acted, well-written, gem-like dazzling debuts before fading into obscurity.
Truly, my dears, Hollywood just doesn't make 'em like they used to!!! And even when they try to make a decent come-back attempt like Norma Desmond dreamed of doing—it usually ends up like some tawdry descent down some ratty old staircase like Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BLVD, looking out at the camera pitifully saying “I’m ready for my close-up now, Mr. DeMille!!!”
Then Norma Desmond gets driven off to the insane asylum in a limo—like they did to poor Blanche (Vivien Leigh) in A STREETCAR NAME DESIRE or that other gimpy Blanche (Joan Crawford) in WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
How could one actually rediscover once again and bring back the magic moments of THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE—without turning that once meaty, adult-themed, trashy tragedy into a fruitcake fake Ed Wood Jr. Freak Show failure of what was once truly a magnificent Film with all the Fame and Glory of Decadently Delicious Ravaging Rome?
First of all, some new genius director needs to get real and find a simply refreshingly young handsome vivacious truly chicken Hollywood actor to play the part of a new Paolo di Leo—the sullen, moody, heartbreaking haughty Hustler preying on the usual wealthy Tourist Trade Crowd hustling the Eternal City of Rome today.
And I don’t mean just another worn-out, jaded, old wrinkly Warren Beatty look-alike either—since in my own rather jaded humble (down-on-my-knees) tres queer opinion, Miss Beatty was much too old in the first place back then in that early Sixties Skin Flick to be playing the part of some young choice Roman chicken gigolo on the make.
Taking a clue from all the tacky Twitter sex gossip mongers and Scandal Sheet peeping-tom paparazzi pics—I can only come up with one possible Clueless Chicken of my choice to play the moody sullen role of the new chicken Paolo hustler I’ve got envisioned in my dizzy decadent diseased brain.
This new Paolo was suggested to me by a rather louche Lotte Lenya look-alike that recently called me the other day. She’d just been resurrected again, she said—thanks to the latest magic of modern secret scientific stem-cell research along with the skuzzy wonders of the latest ratty Frankenstein genetic reverse engineering blackmarket.
As you probably remember from the earlier film—Lotte Lenya is in the business of providing handsome young men to needy wealthy widows of a certain age like me. As the Contessa Magda, she makes calls to various lonely Madame Stones here and there—providing them with the love and consolation that rich fading lonely ladies of means sometimes crave rather desperately.
The Contessa gave me this ring—knowing that I’d been drifting through life with nowhere to go lately. Lotte Lenya has always been the most absolutely divine Procurer of Prick I’ve ever known. She simply oozes and oozes the most lascivious sleaziness!
She’s the most experienced pimp/madam in the whole evil City of Fallen Angels. She even still resides, most appropriately, in the recently remodeled Sunset Blvd mansion of the late great Norma Desmond herself. Still managing her entourage of young men to do her bidding, Lotte is so exquisitely evil, she simply makes my skin crawl!
Lotte Lenya said she had a surprise for me…
And guess who? When I opened the door to my swank Palm Springs getaway estate that evening—who else but the nation’s biggest Boy Toy Star prodigy himself was standing there smirking at me?
It was none other than cute JUSTIN BIEBER!!!
He was accompanying the Contessa—bored, rather desultorily pouty as usual, but nevertheless I was simply amazed and exquisitely pleased to meet her latest young cute accomplice and pouty partner in crime.
After all, Justin was none other than the latest Pretty Boy Toy of all Hollywood itself—constantly in the gossip news and scandalous headlines so very much lately.
Justin Bieber soon became my obsession...but then he started flirting with other women and, instead of words of love, he spewed forth diatribes of tres tacky cruelty; adding to my lingering angst that was already lurking around me as my days of being a Wrinkle Queen were beginning to slowly creep up on me.
Did Justin really love me? Or was he just using me? Would Lotte the Contessa continue to wait patiently for Justin’s payment—for milking me blind? Would I be able to stop "drifting through life" and gracefully accept the fact that I’m sadly growing older?
These are the questions which will play out in juicy details—throughout the remainder of this new suspense-filled film version of THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONED…