I’ve got a thing for Parker Posey.
Ever since Dazed and Confused, I’ve had a crush on the woman who plays crazy and bitchy so very, very well. She’s known as the “Queen of Indies” and for good reason. She’s starred in dozens and dozens of independent films.
And while you’ll occasionally see her in a blockbuster as a murder victim or a vampire or even a super villan’s gal pal, it’s the indie market where she makes her mark. She pops up as a regular in the ensemble cast films of Christopher Guest. If John Waters can find the money, you’ll see her in his holiday film, Fruitcake.
John Waters + Parker Posey = Fab in my book, but I can’t finance a film.
Five Random Facts About Parker Posey:
- Born in Baltimore, MD
- Got her start on the daytime soap, As the World Turns
- Learned to play the mandolin for her role in A Mighty Wind
- A Scorpio
- Her dad owned a Chevrolet dealership
This weekend I watched two of her films – one I hadn’t seen before and an old favorite I’ve seen many times.
The House of Yes centers around a family so dysfunctional it makes my own family drama look like a day in the park. Posey plays Jackie-O, a young woman obsessed with Jackie Kennedy and famous assassinations, JFK’s in particular. Oh, and she has one other obsession: her twin brother Marty.
Insanity and incest have never been so fun as they are in this movie. I was initially turned off by the inclusion of Tori Spelling in the cast, but she plays her role well here. Josh Hamilton and Freddie Prinze Jr. are mostly unremarkable, and are there simply to serve as a foil for the frenetic, crazy energy of Posey’s Jackie-O. There are some killer lines in this movie that will stick with you.
Sorry about that, by the way, I didn’t mean to maim you. I only meant to kill you.
Party Girl is without a doubt my absolute favorite movie from my late teens/early twenties. I cannot tell you how many college friends I forced to sit through it with me as I watched it again and again and again. Posey plays Mary, a woman in her early twenties who hasn’t gotten it quite figured out yet. She’s got plenty of clothes and plenty of friends and a killer social schedule, but she’s got no money. Forced to take a job from her godmother at the local public library, she finds new meaning and direction in her life. Along the way, she falls in love with a good-looking Arab.
The film is a feel good time capsule of New York City club life in the mid-nineties. The fashion is fab and the music is tight and Parker Posey is wonderful. It’s not very deep, but it is fun, and has a surprisingly positive message at the end.
I’m only half-joking when I say that I blame my early obsession with this movie for my eventual relationship at the age of 24 – coincidence?!? – with the Arab man who would one day become my ex-husband. Of course I never worked in a library, but I did do my fair share of partying, dating bouncers and being late on my rent. Luckily, I never got arrested.
Watching this again, I realize just how young 24 is. At 19, I was sure I would have it all figured out by then. Career, life and love would just fall into place, right? And I did have it all figured out at 24 – I was just utterly and completely wrong about most of it. Live and learn.
I’m not embarrassed to admit that I paid zero attention to the role of The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus in the film in my early years, but zeroed in on it this time around. Being more familiar with Camus probably helped.
One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Good advice, Albert!
There are other films I could go on about – Broken English, a sort of anti-Party Girl comes to mind – but I’ll save that for another time.
I hope Ms. Posey is far from retirement and I’ll have many more films of hers to add to my favorites in the years to come. She still looks fabulous past 40. We should all be so lucky. Seriously.
All hail the Queen of Indies! We love you, Parker Posey.