[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/14/coppola.cannes.tetro/art.coppola.cnn.jpg caption="Director Francis Ford Coppola traveled to Cannes to unveil his new film Tetro."]
You’ll excuse me if I get teary when someone mentions this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Even though my career as a Hollywood leading man is long over, I still yearn for those carefree days on the French Riviera, watching Gene Hackman exfoliate his knuckles while Sophia Loren hand-fed me Twizzlers.
It seems like a lifetime ago that I was part of that whole scene. I think my last trip to Cannes was when I was promoting the buddy western I had just made with Linda Evangelista, “Is That a Honda Accord in Your Garage or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”
It was a wonderful trip, aside from that one small incident on the red carpet. But, in hindsight, who among us hasn’t accidentally given Kathy Bates an open-mouth kiss?
As with the Oscars, we see coverage of Cannes on television, but it’s really not the same as being there. The glittering jewelry, the well-coiffed hair, the flowing ball gowns. And that’s just Steven Seagal.
And, of course, it goes without saying that one does not go to the festival merely for the film screenings. There’s plenty of fun-in-the-sun to be had on the beach and – if the mood should strike you – in the Applebee’s parking lot.
But, as is often the case with the Hollywood crowd, things can easily get out of hand. I suppose I should apologize to Sean Connery for what happened out on the ocean. I didn’t realize there was such a fine line between water-skiing and becoming a drug mule.
And regardless of whether I was – as I believe – on Sandra Bullock’s yacht, or, as the police report says, in my hotel room watching Speed 2, I regret those late-night phone calls to Rue McClanahan.
Also, my apologies to that woman I mistook for Mickey Rourke. You do not, as I said upon approaching you, look manlier in person.
Perhaps, as I think back on it, the craziness of Cannes is in large part due to the language barrier. Hell, the last time I was there all I remembered how to say was, “Judi Dench just stole my Speedo.”
And apparently the French paparazzi were not telling me I looked like a hotter Hugh Jackman, but rather like a more disheveled Olsen twin.
Alas, those glory days are history. The reserved seats at the hottest films – nowhere to be found. The pie-eating contests with Cheech and Chong – now only when I see them in the Larry King green room.
But that’s OK, nothing lasts forever.
Except for my Angela Lansbury tattoo.
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