August 17, 2004
Full Frontal Accounting
Many people dream about being naked in front of a crowd, but here's a new twist on that classic dream. "Full Frontal Accounting," the latest effort from dreamer Joe Lavin, is more about the realization of nudity than the nudity itself. Halfway through this dream, it suddenly occurs to Lavin that he really shouldn't have decided to go to work naked. Why would he possibly decide to do such a thing? He hasn't a clue, though it seems that it might have been more out of laziness than anything else. While he walks to the break room buck naked, it occurs to him that he just didn't feel like bothering with clothes that morning, thus leading to his current predicament.
As the day proceeds in all its naked glory, Lavin gradually feels more and more awkward. And yet, hard worker that he is, he continues to perform all the duties of his job fully in the nude -- working at his desk, going to the mailroom, attending meetings, even walking outside to lunch, all with the gradual realization that he really ought to have at least worn some pants.
Strangely, nobody at work says anything, but their awkward silence and avoided gazes only serve to make the day that much more regrettable. The particularly scary part is that this may not be the first time he has gone to work naked. "Jeez, I really have to stop doing this," he says to himself once while standing over the photocopier naked.
Overall, "Full Frontal Accounting" is excellent. Granted, there is little plot development, but one must applaud Lavin for his daring full frontal nudity throughout. Those viewers of a female persuasion will not be disappointed.
The Queen on Line One
What on earth was going on in Lavin's psyche when it created this poor excuse for a dream? Coming from such a talented dreamer, "The Queen on Line One" is doubly disappointing. The dream begins when Lavin receives a phone call from the Queen of England, who is just calling to say hi.
As the phone call progresses, Lavin slowly begins to realize that he might be related to the Queen. Is it possible that he's a member of the royal family? Will he toss his current life aside and move to England to start a wealthy life of privilege? At last, it seems this dream could be going places, but in the end we are not nearly so lucky.
What happens next? For some reason, they discuss Olivia Newton-John and her acting in the movie "Xanadu." The Queen liked it very much, and Lavin doesn't have the heart to disagree with her.
What does it all mean? Who the hell knows? Frankly, I am being generous in giving this nonsensical dream any stars at all. About the only bright spot is the superb acting from Queen Elizabeth II. If this whole monarchy thing doesn't work out, she could have quite a career ahead of her in dreams.
Barbecue at the Baldwins
In this new dream from Lavin's girlfriend Jody, not only is she dating another man, she is dating none other than Alec Baldwin. As you would expect, "Barbecue at the Baldwins" takes places at a Baldwin family barbecue. All the Baldwin brothers and their parents are present, as is Alec's nine-year-old daughter who for some reason doesn't like Jody at all.
While at first exciting, dating a celebrity becomes almost dull for Jody, and yet this seems to be the point, thus making her feel all the better about who she is dating when she's awake. No, this isn't just a dream about a date with a celebrity. It is a dream about a bad date with a celebrity, and as the dream continues this discomfort is captured brilliantly. Despite the star power, this remains simply a barbecue where you get to meet the parents of the person you are dating for the first time -- not to mention his snotty daughter.
The writing and acting is excellent throughout, especially from newcomer Jody who shines as the tantalizing replacement for Kim Basinger in Baldwin's life. Still, one can't help but be disappointed in the poor acting from Alec Baldwin and his brothers, who frankly have just mailed in their performances. Just because this is a low budget indie dream, rather than some blockbuster Hollywood dream is no excuse for their lackluster performances. I am forced to give this only three stars, though it could have been so much better with decent acting from the Baldwins. Nevertheless, "Barbecue at the Baldwins" does an excellent job of reminding Jody of how good she has it in real life.
Pajama Party 6
This delightful new sex farce from Joe Lavin is a dream well worth having by anyone. With strong performances from the Playboy Playmates, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Angelina Jolie, and Cindy from marketing, this is one dream to make you happy to have gone to sleep in the first place, a dream you'll want to return to again and again.
Granted, there are some flaws. For example, the strange and disturbing cameo from Don Knotts makes no sense whatsoever, yet thankfully he and the llama are only in the dream a short time. Also, at 376 minutes, it is far too short, yet even so it may still be the dream of the year. Here's hoping for many more sequels!
©2004 Joe Lavin
May 20, 2003
The Early Works of Joe Lavin
Few may have noticed, but an important literary discovery occurred last week when several early works of writer Joe Lavin were found in the basement of his parent's house. These pieces from 1979 to 1981 offer rare insight into the early influences of this (self)-important writer. Even in grades two through four, his distinctive style and sense of detail are clearly on display. ( More.... )