Natalie, some of us knew this day might come. I am not one of them. Secretly I held out hope that you might use that Harvard-sharpened mind and come to your senses, leave your spindly baby daddy, and trust that the right guy would come along. That guy was me and, no doubt, an entire generation of other equally self-assured young Jewish bucks feel the same, and together we mourn you today.
Watching you fall in love on screen was never that trying. As you rode sidecar with that scrub Zach Braff in “Garden State,” we knew it wasn’t real. You played a compulsive liar in that film, but there was no lie greater than the last scene where you pretended you didn’t want Zach Braff to go while Frou Frou played tortuously in the background.
When you rode on a reptile creature through the ridges of Naboo with that goyische Canuck Hayden Christensen in the “Star Wars” prequels, all along we knew it wasn’t the truth. When they gave you two the Razzie for worst on-screen couple, we all smiled knowingly. To put an accent on it, the the next role Christensen played onscreen was as Stephen Glass.
When they heckled and chased you for kissing that dude at the Western Wall, we heckled too, but only because the sacred–you–had been profaned.
Oh Natalie, they said it would never work! They said: She’s not that pretty and she’s a really pious vegan and “Closer” was a terrible movie! Plus, she seems really happy with the French guy.
We told them all to hold their tongues. They would see. We said, “She named her kid Aleph. It means she’s coming back. She has an Erdős-Bacon number for the love of God, we promise she’ll figure it out.”
But alas, you did not. And so we mark today, August 6–the day that Houdini pulled off his greatest feat, the day that John Hughes died, the day (8/6) that is double your height (4’3″)–as the day on which we try to make sense of the universe’s cruelty.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.