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After watching Charlize Theron in "Young Adult," we just had to know – do all YA authors chug that much Diet Coke and rip their dialogue from conversations overheard in fast food restaurants?
So we went right to the source and asked "Gossip Girl" and "The It Girl" scribe Cecily von Ziegesar to be a guest blogger and give us the skinny on just how realistic Theron's performance really was...
The more I think about Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's excellent new film, "Young Adult," the more creeped out I get.
Never mind Charlize Theron's mindblowing performance. Never mind the tense, über-embarrassing moments when her character, Mavis Gary, attempts to hit on her old high school sweetheart Buddy Wade (Patrick Wilson), who is now happily married and a new dad. Never mind Mavis’s heavy drinking (Diet Coke in the a.m., bourbon in the p.m.), compulsive hair picking, inappropriately sexy outfits and sad chicken cutlet stick-on breast enhancements. Never mind the constant background presence of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and the neglected, fluffy handbag dog. The mere fact that "Young Adult" is about a neurotic, narcissistic, nearing-40, young adult "author" hit eerily close to home.
The voice-over lines from the last installment of Mavis' long-running book series, "Waverly Prep," for which she is the ghostwriter, could easily have been lifted from my Gossip Girl spinoff series, "The It Girl." Come to think of it, the boarding school in my series is named Waverly Academy.
Whoa. Maybe not a total coincidence?
And this isn't the only way Mavis' story parallels mine...
Mavis vs. Me…
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Hails from… Mavis: Mercury, Minnesota. Me: New York City.
Drink of choice… Mavis: Bourbon or Diet Coke. Me: Campari and Soda or Sugar Free Red Bull.
Food of Choice… Mavis: She pretty much sticks to a liquid diet, but we do see her picking at a KFC salad and eating from a Ben & Jerry's carton. Me: Pizza.
Tortures hair by… Mavis: Pulling it out; sometimes wears strange scary hairpiece add-on thing. Me: Cutting and coloring it so often I don't know what I look like anymore.
Drives… Mavis: A little red Mini, badly—she crash-parks! Me: A Subaru wagon (I have kids) but happily no weird mommy bumper stickers.
The manuscript is past due, what do you do?... Mavis: Writes a line, shops online, checks her email, gets a manicure, gives herself a facial, gets a pedicure, checks email, shops online… next thing she knows it's dark outside and she's still only written the one line. Me: Ditto.
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Gets material from…Mavis: Overheard conversations in Staples, KFC. Me: Overheard conversations on the subway or sidewalk. I tend to stare a people and memorize what they’re saying and how they say it. Mavis is actually more subtle.
Behavior in bookstores… Mavis: Marches into the young adult section and begins to sign her own books, unsolicited. Me: I avoid the young adult section altogether if possible, although it's sometimes fun to catch a girl lying on the floor, reading "Gossip Girl."
Self-absorption meter… Mavis: Dangerously high. Me: It's up there. Face it, you have to be sort of an egomaniac to write something down and think that anyone is going to want to read it. Hi.
Was popular and gorgeous in high school… Mavis: Absolutely. She's always been the it girl — that's what makes her behavior so unsympathetic and her relationship with the crippled angry geek, Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), so intriguing. She's played by Charlize Theron for goodness sake! Me: I had a lot of friends, but I ate too many buttered bagels and picked my zits. Plus I'm only 5-foot-3, so I'm definitely no model.
Best way to end a series…Mavis: Ryan Ashby drives away to his death. Me: Blair and Serena take matters into their own hands and kill off everyone who annoys them.
Life is like high school… Mavis: No, it's not, otherwise Buddy would leave his wife and ride off with her into the sunset. Or at least make out in the bushes. Me: Don't get me started. Why do you think so many grown women tune into "Gossip Girl" every week?
Cecily von Ziegesar's latest book, "Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer," which is a hilariously re-imagined slasher version of the first novel in the series, was released in October.