Jennifer Ammoscato imagines the scene at the film adaptation of Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery.
Setting: A movie set in Hollywood. Director Clint Eastwood has assembled the cast of the much-anticipated comedy Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery for a pre-production meeting.
“Mornin’ everyone,” growls the director. His sleep-deprived stars mumble their responses. “That was sarcasm in case you didn’t know it. It’s two o’clock in the goddamned afternoon. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.”
He squints at the lovely blonde at his left. “Reese, we’re all thrilled you’ve signed on to play Avery. Call up Vuitton for your Oscar dress, sweetheart. I hear last year’s Academy Awards goodie bag had bath salts, free Audi rentals for a year and the Orgasm Shot in it.”
The Oscar winner daintily nibbles on a cube of melon. “Do you think we’ll get Apple Watches next time?”
“No goddammed idea.” The grizzled director turns to his right at the other dazzling beauty in the room. “Ryan Gosling — you being cast as Ryan was just goddamned serendipity. I mean, look at you: you’re a stud. You’re funny. You’re sensitive. Women want you. Men want to be you. Just goddamned perfect.”
“I’m humbled to accept this role,” come the words from perfect lips. “Though, I admit, I hate leaving my darling Eva and our beautiful babies.”
Mila Kunis, cast as Avery’s best friend Jordan, smiles brilliantly at the young actor. “Wasn’t your oldest daughter voted the cutest child ever conceived in the history of the world in a recent People.com poll?”
Ryan blushes. “Aww. I was afraid someone might mention that. And, to be fair, there was a formal protest lodged by Angelina Jolie on Shiloh’s behalf. But I’m much more concerned that our devastatingly adorable child grows up to be a responsible citizen who makes positive change in the world…and one day drives an eco-friendly car.”
Eastwood glances down the long table at the group. “Where’s Charlize? Oh, there you are, you gorgeous woman. We are just so goddamned excited to have you as that evil bitch Victoria Van Horne. I mean, you can play anything. Your talent. Your range.”
Ms. Theron peers through stylish reading glasses at a sheaf of papers in front of her. “My contract specifies that filming has to be done in ninety days. I have a Dior shoot in Paris after that.” She directs her flinty gaze at the director. “Not a problem, right, Clint?”
“Of course not, beautiful. I’ll take out anyone who screws around with our production schedule. You know me: Just make my goddamned day, punk. Get the film in the can or I’ll blow you away with my Magnum 44.”
An assistant whispers in the director’s ear, who scratches his head in response. “Um. Yes, apparently, “Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery” isn’t that kind of film. It’s a chick flick. What the hell is chick flick?”
Reese rolls her eyes. “My God! Haven’t you seen Bridget Jones? Confessions of a Shopaholic?” The director shakes his head. Her cornflower blue eyes narrow with suspicion. “Tell me you’ve seen Legally Blonde!”
Clint looks at his shoes, guilt written across his lined face. “I, uh…”
The small but mighty actress leaps to her feet in indignation. “I am so outta here!”
A lawyer lurking nearby tugs on Reese’s sleeve before she can stalk away and cups his hand to her ear. She frowns at his buzzing words and throws her hands up in the air. “Fine! I’ll do the freaking movie. You don’t have to explain contracts to me. I was in Legally Blonde, you know!”
Clint clears his throat in an effort to regain control of the meeting and the attention of his high-priced cast. He smiles — or, his stony, lined face tries to anyhow. “I’ve been in this business a long time. You’re one of the best group of goddamned actors I’ve ever worked with. This movie is going to make history. We’re going to make history. Dear Abby: It’s Me, Avery will make people laugh — and cry.”
A production assistant whispers in his ear. Clint scratches his head again. “What do you mean that’s not the goddamned name of the movie? What the hell is the title?”
“Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery,” pipes up Ryan Gosling, a warm twinkle in his blue eyes. “Eva and I read it to each other while she nursed the new baby and I wove hemp receiving blankets. It was a transformational reading experience.”
Clint blinks several times. “Okay, whatever the hell it’s called, shooting starts tomorrow. Be here at six a.m. for makeup.”
“Will there be organic coffee?”
“Gosling, you’re getting on my last goddamned nerve.”
“Oh, don’t judge me, people. We all do it. Don’t try to tell me that you’ve neverchecked that weird mole on your thigh on WebMD. Or how to fold meringue on Epicurious. And, there’s no way that I’m the only one who clears her search history after looking up how to give a great bl— (Um, that last one’s not important.)”
When newspaper reporter Avery Fowler discovers her husband is having an affair, the online help site HowTo.com is naturally where she turns to navigate this challenging stage of her life. Its live chat option gives her a virtual life coach (Clementine, a snippy, British chippy) for the low, low price of $14.95 a month:
“Dear HowTo.com: Is it misleading if I say they’re real?”
“Dear HowTo.com: Help! I think my boss is the Anti-Christ!”
“Dear HowTo.com: If I kill him will it affect my divorce settlement?”
Does Avery have an unhealthy Internet dependency? Probably. Can all life’s questions be answered with a keystroke? Probably not.
Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery is a romantic comedy that will be of interest to women around the world who’ve ever been screwed over by a guy. Or had a bad hair day. Or tried haemorrhoid cream under their eyes to hide the bags because they read online it might help. That pretty much narrows it down.
Jennifer Ammoscato is a paid, productive member of society. During the day, she is an intrepid writer/editor for the public relations department of a Canadian university. By night, she fights crime (maybe not) and the urge to organize closets and stuff herself with salted chocolate caramels.She is married to her husband, Ezio, and is the proud mom of two very tall sons, Dante and Christian.