Rio de Janeiro — So here I am, dateline Rio, just like Anderson Cooper heading into the teeth of the Cairo street riots, only with girls in thong bikinis instead of people who want to punch me in the face. You’re probably not surprised that I’m here, since a rich and famous Hollywood A-list screenwriter like myself can pretty much go anywhere, but the fact of the matter is that I haven’t been to Brazil since Francis and George and I were location scouting a few years back for The Manchurian Candidate III: This Time, It’s Personal, my updating of the classic paranoid thriller that would have been in theaters by now, except that Universal pulled the plug on it on Nov. 5, 2008, go figure.
Well, now I have a better idea: a reboot of the old Fred-and-Ginger franchise, Flying Down to Rio — you remember, the film with the chicks air-surfing on top of the single-engine plane, the one that somehow managed to second-bill Astaire and Rogers in favor of Dolores Del Rio — that we mash up with elements of The Boys from Brazil and Blame It On Rio, change a couple of things to attract the all-important male 6-to-14 demographic, and get:
Blame It on Flying the Girls from Brazil Down to Rio; This Time, It’s Personal.
Which is why I was invited to fly down on Air Force One, courtesy of You Know Who, and I don’t think I’m breaking any confidences by relating the gist of our conversation, which is, of course, for your eyes only
, and not for distribution except to that small neighborhood newspaper that circulates mostly on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the New York Times
It seems that His Serene Majesty Barack Obama, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, had heard about my little project from Chris “Tammany” Dodd, the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America, and invited me aboard Vacation One in order to discuss some weighty matters of state.
“You see, Dave — may I call you Dave? — it’s like this,” the president began. “I have a gift, but unfortunately for me it’s not a gift that keeps on giving. More of a one-time, stop-the-rise-of-the-oceans, Chris Matthews–tingle, King Canute–type deal. Got a sort of law-of-diminishing-returns thing goin’ on here. And what I need is a sequel. Folks want a sequel. Obama II, 2. And since you’re the acknowledged master of sequels . . .”
Pardon my blushes: Here was POTUS his own good self, asking the advice of David Kahane of the Little Red School House, St. Ann’s, and the Columbia School of Marxism-Leninism; my father, the sainted “Che” Kahane, was going to be so proud. I looked him over, taking careful note of the sharp crease in his pants, the shine on his shoes, the radiant Bobby Bonilla smile and realized that, yes, he can make a very good president — for another two years. Unless he gets me on the team.