Grace and Frankie and the days when Jane Fonda was a kick-ass hooker

I’ve been watching the show Grace and Frankie on Netflix and have been marveling at how good Jane Fonda looks. I remember reading recently Megyn Kelly was interviewing Jane Fonda and asked her about her plastic surgery. Jane Fonda.

What the fuck?

I’ve tried my best to forgive Megyn’s parents for spelling her name Megan with a ‘y’, but to ask Jane Fonda – Jane Motherfucking Fonda – about her plastic surgery when you have a chance to interview a legit icon – how do these people get jobs? I know how they get jobs. #nocomment

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What amazes me is that no one seems to have the true grasp of who someone like Jane Fonda used to be. She filled movie theaters. She was THE SHIT. Personally, I’m conflicted about her abilities as an actor, but she has been in a handful of  movies that still blow the mind and as such she will always deserve our tremendous respect. I’ve always loved how fragile yet strong she seems to be. Like she’s two seconds away from the panic attack that’ll send her careening into the grave, but at the same time she’s like Cher – she is never gonna fucking die.

The best part of Grace and Frankie is Martin Sheen and Lily Tomlin. They both shine like crazy. Like Fonda, Tomlin has never been a truly gifted “actor” (except, except, except Signs Of Life In The Universe which I saw live and yes, it’s a masterpiece) – she strikes me a performer and comic which I am as well so I’m not dissing – but as she’s gotten older she is gifted with what all great actors later in life are gifted which is less ego, so she allows more soul to show. She’s real, down-to-earth and amazing on camera.

I still can’t get out my mind her rant with director David O’Russell that was leaked. We’ll never, ever know what that was ever about. She was viscous. I wonder if she’s like that in life.  I wonder how many people even know Martin Sheen was in Apocalypse Now.  I used to smoke a ton of weed in the 90’s and watch that fucking movie when it came out on laser disc. The helicopters in the begining used to rattle the windows of my shitty apartment on Broadway and 11th street.

Of course, Tomlin and Fonda are doing Grace and Frankie because they got along on Nine to Five which was written by the great gay writer Colin Higgins who died WAY too young.  He also wrote Foul Play which isn’t a good movie, but a fun, fun movie. It has Goldie Hawn in it and I’ve always loved her. Always. Dumb blondes who are super smart has always been a huge weakness of mine.

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Fonda’s handful of shit kicking movies are famous: They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (barberic and smart as hell), Julia (unreal fucking movie – truly an unreal story that I’ll write about someday), Coming Home (upset a lot of people because the sex is so graphic in it, but it wasn’t the fucking but the fact Jon Voight was in a wheelchair during), California Suite (underrated as hell, and Maggie Smith stole the movie away from everyone) and the surprisingly good 80’s schlock The Morning After (super finale).

The point of this was to discuss Klute, a movie Jane Fonda was in in the early-70’s. The movie is a genuine masterpiece and one of the few times (outside of Coming Home – again, another movie EVERYONE talked out in 1977) where she walked on a tightrope and acted with a command of craft that’s breathtaking.

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Fonda plays a hooker named Bree who is being hunted by a killer. The detective looking for the killer is played by Donald Sutherland who I’ve always loved. Face that could stop a bus, but those eyes are unreal. The real star of the movie is the guy who shot it, Gordon Willis, and the director, the late, great Alan J. Pakula.

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The movie is shot in a way that movies aren’t now. Willis was famously called The Prince of Darkness and you see why. Huge patches of the screen are shrouded in black. New York city then (it was shot in 1970) feels and smells like New York City. Dark, dirty and forbidden. Also sexy, dirty and impossible to turn away from. The movie is tense, hard and truly suspenseful. We’ve lost the art of suspense now. We used to love suspense – now we want it all shoved down our throats.

And the acting? The therapy scenes with Fonda are still strong as fuck and the precursor to Tony Soprano and his therapy scenes in The Sopranos. I laughed when people seemed  amazed about a mobster in therapy. Everything we see now has been done before. Maybe in a different setting, but always the same. Klute proved it.

The most famous scene in the movie is also the perfect example of great screenwriting.

Fonda is a hooker and is being fucked by this john in bed. She’s moaning and groaning and since Fonda has always had a great body (again, wouldn’t be remotely surprised if no one remembers she was – again – THE SHIT when it came to the aerobics movement in the 80’s so she’s had a slammin’ body since she was in her 30’s) – she’s getting fucked for all she’s worth and she’s sounding like she’s really loving it, when she raises her hand and looks over her shoulder at her watch on her arm – stop moaning a bit – then resumes moaning again like a true pro.

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Pro. Pure pro. And I should know.

I used to be a hooker when I was a kid. Started when I was 13. And it’s just like that. Give ’em what they want, then make sure you make a quick exit. Which is essentially why the musical Chicago is so amazing.

The rest of the movie proves why every movie freak like me loves movies from the 70’s. They were just so good, so rich and so real. Gritty and made by rebels but within the studio system.  The structure of the movie is great. From the opening credits with the tape recorder to the final image to the payoff of Sutherland and Fonda in the end.

As for the director – well, I can’t even if people don’t know who he was. IMDB the guy. He was The Man. One of the great American film directors of all times. Heard he died being impaled by some sort of construction site mishap. I hope that isn’t true. I can’t bear to check.

As good as good movies about smart hookers who are played by women who never seem to age and are still making movies and for that fact alone she deserves our respect is the masterpiece that is Klute.

Are you listening Megyn with a motherfucking ‘y’?

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