The Boyfriend of the Week


November 15, 1999

If you had emailed me three weeks ago and suggested that I run this guy, I would've emailed you back saying, "Who the heck is that?" If you'd emailed me LAST week, though, the response would've been more like this, "RIGHT-ON, GIRLFRIEND!" That's because last weekend, I rented a movie called "Never Been Kissed" and immediately fell head-over-heels in swoon with Michael Vartan.

"Who?" you ask. "Michael Vartan!" I cry. You know, the guy who played the cute English teacher that falls in love with Drew Barrymore? The guy who shows up LATE for the big kiss at the end and he's so dang cute you didn't even really mind at all? That's who, people! He's gorgeous!

Now I should probably explain myself. Yes, it's true that "Never Been Kissed" is a really silly movie and not at all suitable for someone of my age and intellect. But, oh who am I kidding? Age and intellect?? I rented "Babe: Pig in the City" the other night too! And I LOVED IT. However, the real reason I rented "Never Been Kissed" is because I have a girl-crush on Drew Barrymore. Do you know what a girl-crush is? It's what straight girls feel for other girls -- girls they think are really cool, but who they aren't envious of. Like, I think Drew Barrymore is great. I just love her! But I wouldn't want to BE her. I'd just like to hang out with her from time to time.

I'm getting off the point again, though. The point is, I rented it for Drew, but I rewound the last scene THREE TIMES just to see Michael Vartan run up, grab her, and smooch her. Perhaps there, for just a moment, my girl-crush turned to envy. But it passed away quickly when I remembered they were just acting.

Now, here's something totally weird. After I watched NBK, I went on the IMDB to look for some more Michael Vartan movies. I hadn't seen anything else he'd been in, but I saw that there was one that looked pretty good, "The Myth of Fingerprints," and I wrote it down and then started to look for it. Well, I've been to at least 4 video stores now, people, and it's ALWAYS CHECKED OUT. It's not a new movie. And Michael Vartan isn't Mr. Teen Popularity right now, either. So what's the deal? Anyway, now I'm starting to wonder if maybe it doesn't really exist at all, a la Craig Sheffer's "novel"? Hmmmm. . . I will keep looking, but let me just say for the record that this is all mighty suspicious. (It also allegedly stars Noah Wyle, who I think is incredibly cute, though for some reason I'm really embarrassed to admit it).

Facts and figures on Michael Vartan (this is the intellectual part, remember?). He was born in France, believe it or not (and I'd suggest believeing it, since otherwise you will be insulting my research skills) and lived there until he was something like 17. Then he moved to Los Angeles (talk about culture shock!) to live with his mommy. Because he had no friends and wasn't meeting people (I don't actually believe that for a second), he decided to take an acting class. Just to get out there socially, he says. Not so he could seriously become an actor. (Uh huh.) Anyway, he started out making French films and finally got into an Italian movie in 1993 that went international.

His first American movie was "To Wong Foo, etc." which I have never seen and probably never WILL see just because I think Patrick Swayze in drag is about as scary as it gets. Scarier than the Blair Witch, even (at least we didn't have to see her hairy thighs in fish-nets). Eventually, he ended up in the elusive "Myth of Fingerprints," which was considered to be his "breakthrough role."

Then, blah blah blah, a few other movies, and FINALLY, the fabulously ridiculous and sweet comedy "Never Been Kissed." Now, when I described the plot of this movie to a friend of mine, his first response was, "Isn't that a little scandalous?" Yes, it's true that it's about a teacher who falls in love with a student, which is about as scandalous as you can get in today's news. But I just want to keep reminding people that it's fiction and besides, the student wasn't really a student anyway. Plus, if you can speak Latin, I think you should be exempt from most societal mores. For example, if you speak Latin, you should be able to marry me even if you are already married. There really ought to be a law. Let's get on this one right away, people.

I don't know if Michael Vartan is married. And I doubt he really speaks Latin. But lucky for me, this too is fiction, and that means I can believe whatever I want to. Nyah nyah.

Did I mention that in the last scene there is finally a kiss? I love kissing in movies. Especially when it's between someone I have a guy-crush on and someone I have a girl-crush on. How can you go wrong when you adore both parties? And it really is true that I rewound it three times and watched it over and over again. I even got a little bit weepy, though that might've had something to do with the fact I hadn't been kissed myself in over 48 hours. Withdrawal? Who knows. Michael Vartan sure is cute, though, and that's really all I've been trying to say.

MacGyver Factor Score= 93.7%. I took points off because I can't find his "Myth" movie. Where is it? If you live here and you have it checked out of the video store (ANY video store) please return it! Right now! Or at least have the decency to phone me and let me know it truly exists. And then bring it over and kiss my feet while apologizing profusely. You owe me! And thank you kindly.

By the way, here's a little movie trivia for you: the movie "Never Been Kissed" was filmed at Hart High School near Los Angeles. How do I know this? Because at the time it was filmed, my sister was a math teacher there! Now, she swore to me that she never kissed Michael Vartan while he was on the set, but I don't know whether I can really believe that or not because she said it with a rather-suspicious-looking twinkle in her eye. Plus, she's very cute. Almost as cute as Drew Barrymore, in fact. I will continue to press her for details and get back to you ASAP. In the meantime, rent "Never Been Kissed" and write to tell me how many times YOU rewound and rewatched the last five minutes. Please. So I don't feel like such a dweeb.

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