A big story in the New York Times wonders whether the big-budget upcoming movie Charlie Wilson's War will be able to overcome the fact that it's about, like, history and politics and a seemingly obscure would-be footnote in Cold War history that fatefully happened to set the stage for the current War On Terror or whatever. The story is awesome: an obscure liberal Democratic congressman from Texas with a reputation as a drunk and a playboy happened to get a seat on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, which authorizes top-secret CIA funds, and upon the request of a socialite played by Julia Roberts singlehandedly finances the war of the Afghan "freedom fighters" are fighting against the Soviets, which would eventually grow into a war against, uh,"freedom" itself. He convinced his colleagues to go into all this with the eminently rational statement: "The U.S. had nothing whatsoever to do with these people's decision to fight. ... But we'll be damned by history if we let them fight with stones."
So the makers of the movie are worried it's going to bomb, because it's too serious or something, and speaking as someone who saw the trailer on Saturday — boy, do I get mileage from those rare occasions I leave my house and venture to such exotic destinations as the movie theater! — I am must confess I am worried about it too. I am worried Julia Roberts might ruin it. Her Southern accent sounds wayyyy Steel Magnolias and not at all Texan and she comes across altogether as just Julia Roberts, and I could be wrong but I hate the notion that Hollywood's only bankable actress is the one most likely to render a true story wholly unconvincing, which I think is the reason dudes invariably seem to hate Julia Roberts, which doesn't bode well for a movie essentially about guns, but oh well.
Sex! Drugs! (And Maybe A Little War) [NY Times]