When we first received word about last night's premiere of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, based on the book by Fake Writer J.T. Leroy, we were a little bit blown away. After New York magazine and the Times exposed Leroy as a complete fraud, a nonexistent individual fabricated by a woman named Laura Albert in order to gain literary success, how could these people possibly have the motivation to host an honest-to-God premiere and after-party? Were they actually sending us a freaking tip sheet for a film spawned from a lie, complete with the names of expected A-list attendees like Mandy Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal? And were the Misshapes kids really DJing the fucking after-party, where Leroy himself was expected to appear? Certainly such a wheelbarrow of bullshit couldn t be for real but it was. When the balls behind an event are that overgrown, we have to attend.
We should ve known, really: When you re invited to anything at the Loews 42nd Street E-Walk, things will not be good. Nevertheless, we drag ourselves to midtown and checked in with pretty publicist Stephen Bender, who s excitedly promising to send us a t-shirt that says "I m J.T. Leroy." Exactly what we wanted to wear to the gym, really. We head upstairs to the "red carpet," which is a pitiable bit of fabric stretched out by the ladies room and next to the Fast and the Furious videogames. There are dozens of photographers and reporters, but not a single person on the carpet.
Daily News gossip-monkeys Jo Piazza and Ben Widdicombe are equally unimpressed, so we take a seat on a couch located a suitable distance from the red fabric-carpet. Bender comes over and, after insisting that Mandy Moore really will be attending, starts telling us about the after-party. It ll be amazing, he divulges, as Laura Albert and Savannah Knoop are going to go and, in dramatic fashion, reveal the "real J.T." Uh, didn t someone already do that? Like, twice? Later, according to Bender, several J.T. doppelgangers will infiltrate the party, resulting in an effect he likens to the Thomas Crowne Affair. This is all we need to hear; there is no way in hell that we ll be going to such an event.
Meanwhile, the notables are starting to trickle in... No Maggie, no Mandy or J.T. It's just a random group of industry types, plus the Misshapes (who make us silently hate ourselves for recognizing), Mick Rock, director/star Asia Argento, and EP Lilly Bright. Bender starts to bring some of these people over to us, though we refuse to get up from the couch. At one point, in what was unquestionably the best red carpet moment ever, he introduces the three of us as "the Jew, the Italian, and the Australian." Oh, if only we had thought to record the awkward silence so that we might share it with you all.
Yes, the movie: Terrible, so much so that we walked out before it ended. We left right after random pieces of coal started crying and the little boy seduced Marilyn Manson. Trust us, you don t even want to understand what we're talking about. Have you ever watched an Italian actress try to channel a West Virginia hooker? No? Lucky you.
After we left, we hear that Argento gave quite a performance during the Q&A following the screening. When she was asked how the revelation that Leroy was nonexistent affected the movie s impact, she began a beautiful ramble. To heavily paraphrase: "What is truth? Am I telling you the fucking truth right now? How do you know what the fucking truth is?" She then talked about her personal experience with J.T. and how she had no idea he didn't exist until everyone else found out about it. "I mean, I slept with J.T. I touched his pussy. I just thought they make great pussies these days. I don't know. I couldn't see, it was dark. He said he was on hormones, that was why the boobs were there. I just thought they make great pussies nowadays." Move along folks, nothing to see here.
The after-party, from what we understand, was no better. Contrary to Page Six s item today reporting Albert, Knoop, and crew were demanding huge luxuries upon being flown in for the movie s premiere, none of the guilty parties were present. There was but a lone Leroy impersonator, and "he" only managed to dupe one reporter until a kind soul informed the reporter that he was speaking with a fake. But aren t they all?