Soulful guitarist and singer, Jeff Buckley, who was amazing even before you knew about him from that “West Wing” episode, and who mysteriously drowned in 1997 after having only recorded one album, Grace (which every decent American should own), is having a biopic made about him. Greetings from Tim Buckley (Tim was Jeff’s father, obvs.), will follow the “true story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. Through a romance with a young woman working at the concert, he comes to understand the father who abandoned him. Culminating in a cathartic performance of his father’s most famous songs, Jeff’s debut stuns the audience and launches his career as one of the greatest young musicians of his time.”
It’s sad how similar that is to the plotline of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong (even more sad, both stories end similarly). I’m OK with the idea of the biopic: The more people that get to know Buckley, the better; I’d hate for him to be lumped in with The Fray and Snow Patrol and every other artist that dominates the final five minutes of “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes.
The bad news, unfortunately, is who has been signed to play him in the movie. His name is Penn Badgley. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, GREAT. That means you’re not too far gone. If that name has a positive connotation for you, and you feel he’s the ideal man to play Jeff Buckley, GET OUT. Seriously: Click the X at the top right hand of the screen (don’t accidentally click that obnoxious ad because I don’t want your 1/10 of a cent) and find a place more suited to your interests, like PerezHilton; I understand he’s featuring pictures today with doodles scribbled on them.
Yes, yes: I know, he was in Easy A and he was slightly charming (OK, really charming). DON’T FALL FOR IT. He’s also in “Gossip Girl.” He’s known for “Gossip Girl,” and if there’s someone who should never play Jeff Buckley, it’s someone best known for “Gossip Girl.” It’s the principle! Don’t talk back. Don’t try to justify it. He stars in a show with names you only know from the US magazines sitting next to your toilet: Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick, and Leighton Meester. You’d never be able to pick them out of a lineup because they look like every other reality show star, and “Gossip Girl” isn’t even a reality show (is it? Honestly, I’ve never seen a second of it). And why are you reading US on the potty? Can we walk about this?
Anyway, what I don’t understand is, where was James Franco this week? He’s in every other movie, why can’t he be in a movie that actually suits him? And Buckley? Jesus. As my kid would say after I tell him to put away his goddamn LEGOS: “I’m walking away. I’m not talking ANYMORE.”