The Ballad of Ronnie & Sammi: Recipe for an Oscar
To anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I am utterly consumed by MTV’s The Jersey Shore. If you had told me a year ago that MTV was creating a show about a bunch of overtanned Italian-Americans in the bowels of the Garden State I would have groaned, covered my face with my hands and thought longingly of Singled Out. But dammit, like Snookie near a jar of pickes, I just can ‘t stop. (Incidentally, if you are watching the show, you should be checking out the brilliant recaps on FourFour. Rich, the site’s writer is probably my favorite person on the Internets and I think I can speak for Anna G. when I say that as well.)
Aside from JWoww’s gravity defying tata’s, Pauley D’s follicular take on the Bride of Frankenstein and Snookie’s eerie resemblance to my new handbag, the thing that captivates me most about the show is the relationship between Sammi and Ronnie.
Ronnie is the guy who giggles like a little schoolgirl in the opening credits of the show, but its highly possible that you’ve mistaken him for a bulldozer or small car, scarily jacked as he is.
Sammi on the other hand is small-ish but still with the thickness that we know is so celebrated in the Italian-American community. The two of them were “feeling each other” pretty much from day one, and since then their crush has developed into a full-on gel-fueled ‘roided-out love thang.
It’s not always smooth sailing in paradise though, as we learned in the last few episodes of The Shore. Not only did Ronnie get into a fight on the boardwalk, but he and Sammi also got into a bit of a verbal tussle in which they cattily talked shit about each other’s bodily imperfections. Sammi known affectionately as “Sweetheart” called Ronnie an “stumpy bastard” and he in turn, jestingly referred to her “Fred Flintstone toe”, and Sammi Flipped. The. Fuck. Out. What follows was one of those dumb drunk arguments that all couples get into occasionally (right?) but generally are fortunate enough to engage in away from a camera crew. Sammi and Ronnie were not so lucky. Like a more muscular, Italian-er Splendor in the Grass, the whole crying, yelling sobbing and hugging thing was recorded for posterity and played on national television.
While I watched the thing air I thought to myself “Jesus. God, these people are such trash” But then I felt a sort of familiarity, like I’d seen it before. And then I realized that this shit is Hollywood gold:
RECIPE FOR AN OSCAR
1. Take a late 90s Marisa Tomei, give her a spray tan and a pack of Kools and cast her as Sammi.
2. Juice Mark Wahlberg up within an inch of his meathead life, stick him in the gym for about 20 weeks and cast him as Ronnie.
3. Reshoot every single scene of Ronnie & Sammi’s relationship: the mini-golf date, the mutual flirting at the cluurb, the boardwalk scene where Ronnie shoves Sammi (was anyone else a little disturbed by how relaxed he seemed when he did that?) and bring it to its inevitable climax: the in-bed argument about Sammi’s busted toe, filmed entirely in night vision.
4. Mix well!
5. Have Philip Glass or better yet Jon Brion score the shit out of it.
6. Add a bunch of sun spots and 70s looking glare to the shots of them smoking and staring off the back deck.
And voila-what started out as a depressing reality show about a bunch of semi-Italian overly tanned morons becomes a wrenching drama about the realities of working class, overly-tanned human beings who ooze with humanity, and the ways that they come to terms with life and what it means to love.
Can someone please produce this fim? And then can they pay me some sort of finders fee?