The Player

As far as I can tell, all routes that lead to being fabulously successful have at least one stopover in “the playground of the rich and famous” – Cannes. I decided that I must check out the film festival scene so I’ll know what to expect in the future. Besides, I needed to get away from the unseasonably cold London weather.

My friend Cheri, or Cher as we’ve decided to call her this week to up-glam her a notch, cashed in some favors, trading on her Silver Hilton HHonors status (attained from business trips to exotic Aberdeen, Manchester and the like) to get us a room at the Noga Hilton.

We arrived to a bottle of wine and a mass-produced personalized note from the manager…so far so good. We dropped off our bags, changed into our specially-selected Cannes outfits (no belt for me) and took a beachside stroll down La Croisette.

Living in London and having a perpetual propensity to be late for work, I have developed a very efficient system of making my way through a crowd. The three main elements of snaking through sidewalk clutter (a.k.a. other pedestrians) are: perfecting the pivot, developing a method for gentle “accidental” pushing and hubristic determination – to be used in various combinations.

It’s also important to not get distracted by evangelists, people spray painted in metallic colors pretending to be statues (as if standing still were a talent) or other impediments to forward motion like the guy in Cannes who balances cats on his arms – or something – I didn’t stop to look.

We decided to brave the beach crowd and meet up with an actor I know, Jason, who is the quintessential English playboy with no apparent need for a day job. After eight mobile calls back and forth – “Are you before the giant movie screen or after,” “Are you closer to the beach or the sidewalk?” – we spotted Jason in his tiny Burberry swimming trunks and Versace sunglasses.

Cher and I received cheek kisses (considered extra glam in the States, but just baseline here). We got comfortable on some stolen hotel towels and hoped to unearth some insight as to where the glam parties would be that night. Instead we politely avoided drinking the only remaining bottle of beer and introduced ourselves to Jason’s friends, while he flitted up and down La Croisette looking for producers, hot chicks or both. Finally he came back to our stolen towel haven.

“Did you guys see that guy with the cats?”

“Yeah, he was amazing,” I lied, and cracked open the warm Heineken.