Diary of a Lapsed Pfan

This post forms a part of the Pfeiffer Blog-a-thon Festival held to celebrate Michelle Pfeiffer’s 48th birthday on 29 April. Happy birthday Michelle!

Thanks to Nat over at The Film Experience for organising this initiative.

Bless me, pfans, for I have sinned. In the past few years I have become one of your most hated and frustrating kind- a lapsed fan. I’ve put away my ‘shrine’ of magazines, scrapbooks and other memorabilia- now it’s just my Catwoman poster looking down on me. I’ve neglected my pfansite. My e-zine has quietly shut down. My careful monitoring of box office trends and Award Season patterns has deteriorated into a very casual interest.

All this in the past 4 or so years of numbing Pfeiffer career silence.

I’m experiencing a resurgence of excitement at the moment with the release of romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman only 3 or so months away, and Michelle’s involvement in Stardust, the… er… star-saturated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s adult fantasy novel (my copy arrived yesterday).

Michelle on the Stardust Set

But considering what my involvement in the Pfandom community used to be, it all goes to show that Pfandom, like so many other passions, requires stimulation to keep devotees committed. Only the most pfaithful pfans could weather the silence without wandering into other areas of interest.

I thought I was committed, and yet even I failed in this aspect.

It probably didn’t help that I was converted at Thee Height of Pfeiffer Pfrenzy- the release of Batman Returns. I could always turn to the media for my Pfeiffer pfix.

As a child, and tweenie, in the 1980s and early 1990s I was thrilled by Grease 2 and Ladyhawke, but it was only with Selina Kyle’s whip cracking, spiked heels and barbed comments that I was captivated by the Pfeiffer mystique. I still can’t explain why it happened. It just did. Although I have a secondary list of actresses who capture my attention- Kirsten Dunst, Naomi Watts, even Rhona Mitra- they don’t even come close to my pfeelings for Pfeiffer.

Of course I became a pfan at pretty much the exact moment Michelle went mainstream. I could return to her brilliant performances in excellent late 1980s films like Dangerous Liaisons and The Fabulous Baker Boys (regardless of your sexual orientation, you will find Michelle impossibly sexy in what IS her greatest performance).

Just the pussy I've been looking for

But Michelle’s mainstream move meant a lot of frustrations for pfans that continue to this day.

Suddenly box office was important, which never looked good with Michelle’s Via Rosa production efforts, bar Dangerous Minds.

In order ‘to work with someone I really admired’, Michelle would play weirdly pathetic heroines- not a common occurrence, fortunately- the worst being Up Close & Personal’s useless reporter Sally Atwater.

Of course the absolute worst of the second half of the Nineties into the Noughties was the impact of marriage and motherhood on Michelle’s career. Not that Michelle didn’t deserve contentment in this part of her life. We pfans were very happy for her.

However, the Internet’s role as a rumour incubator and instant news source meant pfans became very aware of all the roles Michelle was flirting with, accepting and then dropping, or flat out rejecting. A horrible trend emerged of Michelle’s name being linked to projects that would disintegrate into nothingness, or roles that would end up being filled by someone else.

The worst of these: Evita, Coraline, Chasing Montana, The Prairie Home Companion (oh, how desperately I want to see Michelle sing in a film again after what her vocals in Prince of Egypt hinted at).

The result was the emergence of a situation where every announcement of a new film project was treated with scorn and disbelief. Until the first set pics appeared, I didn’t believe Michelle was involved in Stardust. I thought her name was just part of an elaborate cast wishlist.

I have a very good feeling now that with her children getting older, Michelle will start to act more again- she won’t struggle to find work. Personally, though, it just remains difficult to elevate passions back to the levels they once were. Don’t think though that I won’t be there on opening night though for I Could Never be Your Woman, Stardust and any pfuture Pfeiffer projects.

To conclude, I know a lot of you reading this will be thinking of celebrating Michelle’s birthday by watching one of her films. Here’s my shortlist of much watched Michelle favourites, in chronological order, mixing the critical hits, the best romances and the fun stuff where Michelle dominates the screen:

Grease 2
Dangerous Liaisons
The Fabulous Baker Boys
Frankie & Johnny
Batman Returns
One Fine Day
What Lies Beneath
White Oleander

And finally, thanks to all Pfans out there who have shared the Pfeiffer experience with me over the years- Sonic, Fabian, Peter, Marla, Anastacia, JVS, JC from the mailing list days; Juanita, Bond, Weezie, Homeslice, Dora, chrispfan and many innumerable more who are still active on My Pfeiffer Messageboard and their own websites.

The Internet has played a crucial role in uniting pfans from all over the world. Michelle’s appeal is truly universal.


OhMyTrill said…
I've only seen CATWOMAN (and MP is disgusting...in the good way)...but thank you for mentioning Naomi Watts...she is my personal Pfeiffer (but after viewing Batman Returns, she may be replaced by Pfeiffer!) OMG!
Marla said…
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