Jennifer Lawrence rings in the disappointment with drunkenness and despair
I know, I know, I’ve been writing about Jennifer Lawrence a lot lately. But she’s been in the news a lot lately.
JL seems on a mission to show us how, despite how ridiculously easy she has risen to fame (seriously, has any other recent star had more triumphs with fewer if any setbacks?), she is just as insecure, just as disappointed, just as unhappy as the rest of us. She’s an ordinary gal who just happens to make $25 million per picture, who just bought a $20 million dollar house. But other than that, well. she hates New Years too. And parties. And she’s lonely. Can’t get a date.
All highly possible. As I’ve written before, fame and money truly don’t buy happiness, and history is littered with rich people who never found contentment. Orson Welles even made a film about it, Citizen Kane. In the end Charles Foster was richer than God and probably more famous, yet all he longed for was that sled and the childhood it represented. It’s probably not as corny as it sounds.
Ms. Lawrence says she will not be having a good time tonight as the clock strikes twelve. She claims New Years is a downer for her, that she often drinks and is depressed, and never has any fun. She also seems to think that there’s too much pressure to make New Years Eve the perfect party.
She’s got a point there. I have a scene in Entertaining Welsey Shaw where we spend New Years not with movie star Welsey Shaw, but rather with the ordinary-guy protagonist, Daniel Ferreira, at a small, humble bar/restaurant in his small humble home town, with a few other would-be partiers who for whatever reason aren’t doing anything better either. It’s a pathetic scene, and we’re meant to be wondering all the time what Welsey is doing for New Years in her neck of the world. She is perhaps on some yacht, or partying with royalty.
The point of the scene was that New Years Eve creates this insecurity that other people are having—must be having—more fun than you. You start comparing New Years’ with idealized ones that you don’t even know exist. And of course they’re better. Everything you imagine is always better. That’s kind of what the whole novel Entertaining Welsey Shaw is about.
Jennifer Lawrence seems to understand this. She’s done trying to have the perfect New Years. “I really hate it. I’ve never had a good one. Everyone’s chasing a good time, and it’s always a disappointment. I plan on doing nothing and then if something lands in my lap … but I always end up drunk and disappointed.”
Lawrence also says she often gets nervous. And when she gets nervous, she tends to throw up. She says this is why she rarely goes to after-parties. “Drunk and Disappointed should be the title of my memoir.”
She claims to be more comfortable staying home, with close friends. There doesn’t seem to be much boyfriend talk. “I plan on doing nothing and then if something lands in my lap…” But she didn’t finish that sentence, in appropriate Welseyesque mystery.
I really give her a lot of credit for her mature outlook. She’s not like the many Hollywood celebrities who feel they must project a constant party atmosphere all the time, showing everyone how rich and happy they are and how much fun they are having. There’s nothing wrong with being happy and having fun, but some celebrities’ attempts at persuasion are so fake as to be bordering on pathos.
Welsey notices this, and this is why she despises so many other celebrities, and why she too has trouble making real friends. That’s what the novel is about too.
So maybe Welsey and J-Law would be good friends. They’re alike in more ways than one.
Read more about Jennifer Lawrence’s take on New Years here.