Esquire proves itself a friend to faux Topics: Visits with Allegra, Janeane, Charlie -- one of whom is fake.


November 17, 1996|By Vicki Hengen | Vicki Hengen,BOSTON GLOBE

Everyone knows that tricks are for kids. But tell that to Esquire, whose November cover story parodies the recent rage for starlet-of-the-moment interviews: the funniest, silliest, most ridiculous, all-around-goofy piece of faux journalism we've seen in a coon coat's age.

It's a (faux) interview with the latest (faux) starlet out of Hollywood: Allegra Coleman, a gorgeous (faux) bimbo-babe-from-Hollywood who makes dumb men drool and smart women giggle.

Let me give you a whiff of the writer's particular air of je ne sais quoi:

"The Colemans, a legendary family of circus performers and poets, were always broke and often drunk. Allegra learned early to fend for herself."

Says her guru, Deepak Chopra: "Her nature is spongy and luminescent."

Allegra's favorite film is "The Farmer's Daughter," for which Loretta Young won an Oscar, a film that moves her "but which is nearly impossible to rent."

The Buzz out West

Sliding smoothly from East to West, we feel compelled to mention November's issue of Buzz, out of California -- an attractive, sleek, audacious journal of life on the left coast. Buzz is chic, hip (in the best possible way), way cool, just like L.A. itself might be, without the, uh smog and those stars on the pavement and that ugly Hollywood sign.

Anyway, Buzz boasts a cover story on Janeane Garofalo (new movie-mogul girl-ette and CEO of I Hate Myself Productions, in addition to co-star of "The Truth About Cats and Dogs"). She has a remarkable amount of East Coast-type angst, and guess what? She grew up in Jersey!

Also in Buzz, columnist William Stadiem tracks a true-to-life 90210-type chick on an average day. Says she of the recent movie based on Austen's "Emma": " 'Clueless' was real especially the cars and the portable phones. Only the fashions were lame."

But the best of Buzz is an excerpt from the publication of writer Christopher Isherwood's diaries, which chronicle five decades of playing on the L.A. literary scene.

He writes of a meeting with Garbo: "She wore the famous straw gardening hat, with slacks, and a tiny patch of plaster between her eyebrows, to prevent wrinkles from forming."

And, this, on Charlie Chaplin, in addressing the Duke of Windsor: Then Chaplin asked him how many uniforms he owned and how he knew which one to wear on any given occasion; did someone tell him?"

That may not have offended the duke, but entering the lavatory simultaneously with the duke, he discovered, was "strictly against the rules."

"How can they possibly go on with all that nonsense?" Chaplin said to Isherwood, referring to British royal conventions.

On March 13, 1944, Isherwood records starting "to fall in love" with someone he calls X. "As far as I was concerned," the diary continues, "X wasn't a human being at all but simply a state of mind. Unrequited love is valuable in literature, but in life it bores me -- especially my own. I shall have to refer to X from time to time in this diary, but I do so unwillingly and without any masochistic pleasure."

On Sept. 29, 1955, Isherwood wrote: "Another reason for feeling blue was that I broke off my tooth as the result of biting violently into a piece of saltwater taffy -- due to my indignation at having to watch 'The Farmer's Daughter' and reflect that Loretta Young got an Oscar for it."

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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