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Tomei or Not Tomei?: The Truth is Out There August 7, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Movies, Pop Culture Rants.

Millions of people across the country saw it live. At first, they were awed, then shocked, then worldwide anger surfaced. It rallied a nation, causing panic, fear. But as time went on, it inspired boatloads of conspiracy theories. At first, the nation was still too shaken to listen. But now, years later, as we see the ramifications the event has had on the American community, I have personally taken it upon myself to investigate and provide the comprehensive end-all theory/reasoning behind this tragic, but controversial event.

Did Marisa Tomei really win the Oscar for My Cousin Vinny?

Take yourself back to the tumultuous Hollywood of 1993. The Batman franchise had collapsed, putting several visionaries like Michael Keaton, Tim Burton and that tall, weird Italian guy who screamed “Get Off My Train!” from Ghost out of work. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal’s names were used in the same sentence as the words “bankable superstar” and “desirable hunk” with alarming frequency. Hulk Hogan’s Mr. Nanny was rocketing up the box office like one of his triple leg suplexes. The state was grim. The powers at the Academy of Motion Pictures knew something had to be done or else all they stood for would be lost in a sea of overwrought bad press magnets and films that could have been created by an eight year old with his PXL 2000.

But what to do? A massive cleansing of the talent laden Hollywood Hills would only cause backlash and possibly even leave a talent vacuum that would be immediately filled by Jaleel White and the dumb kid from Mama’s Family. They could close the doors and put all their massive efforts into one large super film, resetting the bar for quality in entertainment. But rumor has it, during the brainstorm for this masterpiece, all their writers were able to create was a sequel to Porky’s and the first three season of Dharma and Greg. The task was hopeless. Jack Valenti, president of the Academy, could do nothing but watch his livelihood spin away faster than he could say “Did I do that?”

Then he had a brainstorm. What if he could manufacture a star of his own? Somebody who at the surface looked talented, but over the course of many years would be shown to be nothing more than a hack, playing the same role with the same vocal inflection in the same parade of lousy scripts. What if it was possible to have someone on the inside that could bring down bad press magnets and outspoken political activists before they could speak out? And what if he could even arrange for this star to win an Oscar, validating their worth as an actor/actress? He would hatch his plan immediately as the Oscar’s dropped just a few short weeks away.

Surveying the list of nominees that year, Valenti saw only one possible mark. Marisa Tomei was a struggling actress from Brooklyn who had previously rocketed to fame as the “token white girl” on A Different World. Her supporting role as a gum chewing, fast-talking Brooklyn girl (Ah method acting) was all the buzz among Hollywood insiders but they dismissed her as cute. They saw in her nothing more than a fine character actor that would shine in such roles as the “other sister” or “wisecracking bartender who misguides tourists in NYC.” Valenti knew that with Tomei’s limited ability, he could easily use her as his weapon. Hollywood would never see it coming.

The meetings between Tomei and Valenti’s advisors have never been proven, seen, spoke of or may have even happened, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss their existence. (This is America, after all.) Her competition would be stiff. Valenti had managed for all her competitors to be British trained stage actresses who had all clawed their way up the Hollywood ladder for their shot at stardom. He hoped that Tomei’s upset victory would raise her star even more. He never took into account the fact that once the surprise wore off, America would notice this. How is it possible that a role, whose most famous aspect was a girl pounding her leather knee-high boot up-and-down while screaming about her biological clock could possibly defeat four stalwarts of the stage? But few people really see that as a sure sign of conspiracy; instead they are blinded by the bright, ebullient Tomei who accepted her Oscar with an “OHMIGA.”

Valenti even went so far as to create the ultimate in trickery by making sure the doddering, push-up doing elder statesmen that was Jack Palance was there to do the presenting. Should anybody truly question the validity of Tomei’s Oscar, he had the perfect excuse in the old man. Examine the picture at right. This is Jack Palance at the awards ceremony prior to announcing Miss Tomei’s victory. Upon closer examination, you will see absolutely nothing out of place whatsoever. Many have suggested that a man of his age and relative senility would surely have tied his tie incorrectly or possibly even drooled slightly on his lapel. But Valenti made sure that his man was picture perfect and as lucid as, um, something with lucidity. Otherwise, there would be immediate screaming and hawing that the old man had read the wrong name or simply recited the most recent name in his memory. By making the man seem as together as he was, the public would accept Tomei’s induction into Oscar history.

With his star a recently minted winner, Valenti immediately went to work. While his back door machinations of just how and what were never really known, examine the co-stars of Tomei’s next few films to see what her destruction wrought:

Christian Slater in Untamed Heart: Slater was a scary proposition for Valenti. He was an up and coming actor who seemed to know no limits to his talent. His movie choices were erratic, but still some of them struck a chord and threatened to turn Hollywood into a place that provokes thought. Think about his film resume since 1994. Can’t, can you? The power of the Tomei did something to Slater, who was last seen groping a woman on Broadway in New York City, trying to get them to like his Jack Nicholson impersonation.

Quentin Tarantino in Four Rooms: True, he was a director, but he still threatened to open the doors of Hollywood to every film geek with a camera, guide book and the three thousand dollars they saved from working the Ferris Wheel at Six Flags. With his Pulp Fiction on the rise, Valenti knew he had to act fast. He tried first by damning his film to one Oscar, screenplay, an Oscar with such little merit than Ben Affleck has one on his mantle next to his copy of Juggs. A job this big was only for Tomei. Since Four Rooms, Tarantino’s films have lacked the certain magic that made his Pulp Fiction a worldwide success. He was last seen standing a few yards away from Slater, screaming if women liked his Tarantino impersonation.

Robert Downey, Jr. in Chaplin and Only You: Apparently, Downey was such a threat to Valenti’s well-being that he sicced Tomei on him twice. Maybe it was his father’s B-movie past. Maybe it was the hard party image and bad film choices (Anybody here see 1969? Other than Robert himself?). Whatever the case, he advertised the dark side of Hollywood Jack wanted to leave to just a few people, lest he have another Easy Rider or Midnight Cowboy on his hands. Robert was last seen dressed as a woman, trying to get Slater to grope him for drug money.

Now, with the evidence presented, the facts are clear. Many will say that Tomei’s recent nomination in 2002 proves she is no fluke. But that year she was up against Jennifer Connolly, who was an across the board shoo-in to win. What better way to validate somebody’s questionable worth than by putting them into a race they can’t win again, just to prove they belong there? It’s like putting the Yankees in the World Series against a bunch of little leaguers and claiming it’s an honor they were just there. Smelled fishy to me. But again, I have only rumor and conjecture. And sometimes that’s better than fact.

I have already said too much. Valenti does have the right to bug and tap all internet communication as per the Hollywood Patriot Act of 2003 (Wondering why you haven’t seen the girl who played Jo on Facts of Life lately? I’m just saying…). But if enough people realize the depths of this conspiracy, we may be able to see the truth in our lifetime. And save another actor from Valenti’s dream of a rebel-free Hollywood soon enough. Her other co-stars have so far survived.. Oh, wait, she was in What Women Want with Mel Gibson, huh?

This must be stopped. Otherwise Hollywood will become nothing more than a vanilla wasteland of cookie cutter sequels and nothing to make us think. Remember Tomei. And keep watching the billboards.



1. K - August 7, 2006

Je ne peux pas croire que je lis. Je ne suis pas aussi sûr que j’écris.


2. doctorolove - August 8, 2006

Mon francais n’est pas bien mais je comprend ton “comment.”

3. firstcontact2063 - August 17, 2006

I question YOUR validity. You’re an idiot. It was 13 years ago when she won an Oscar. GET OVER IT!!

4. doctorolove - August 17, 2006

Sarcasm (n) – Sarcasm is sneering, jesting, or mocking a person, situation or thing. It is often used in a humorous or ironic manner and is expressed through vocal intonations such as over-emphasizing the actual statement or particular words.

5. first contact 2063 - October 25, 2006

thank you, Noah Webster.

6. doctorolove - October 26, 2006

It took you a whole month to respond to that one…I’m impressed…Most people take a whole year…

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