You could be cruel and unfair and say that Taylor Swift‘s comments in a just-published Vanity Fair interview indicate that the 23 year-old singer is (a) a bit of a hair-trigger personality and (b) not exactly an embodiment of the phrase “still water runs deep.” One look at those shopping-mall eyes and you know she has a long way to go. But then so do most 23 year-olds.
I was reminded that the folks behind the reportedly forthcoming musical biopic Girls Like Us — director-producer Katie Jacobs, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Sony’s Amy Pascal and Elisabeth Cantillon — are (let’s be polite) greatly mistaken if, as I’ve read, they’ve actually cast Swift to play Joni Mitchell, of all people.
The idea of choosing a notoriously shallow lightweight to play one of the most gifted and influential poet-musicians of the 20th Century almost feels like some kind of sarcastic “fuck you” to the culture of the ’60s and ’70s that produced Mitchell, Carole King and Carly Simon. These legends (an overworked term except here it actually applies) are the subjects of the film as well as Sheila Weller‘s 2008 book, which is the basis of John Sayles‘ screenplay.
What would be analogous to the Swift-Mitchell casting? Tony Curtis being chosen in 1952 or ’53 to star in a biopic of John Barrymore in his theatrical heyday? Early ’90s Pauly Shore being cast as Will Rogers or Groucho Marx? The mind reels, flops around like a flounder.