As a rule, I'm against gratuitous remakes of film classics, but the cynical yet poignant story told in Sunset Blvd. is so timeless that it could easily be redone every ten years or so, like A Christmas Carol, with each version chronicling the slow decent into madness of a different fading movie star and his show business contemporaries due to their abandonment by Hollywood. For example, Sunset Blvd. 2002 could star Jack Nicholson as Norman Desmond and Roman Polanski as Max. They spend their evenings screening Chinatown again and again while complaining bitterly about the "weasles at Paramount" who won't return their calls. Jack sits stooped over his typewriter for days on end, adding yet another scene to his mammoth comeback screenplay, 'Five More Easy Pieces', while Roman pens phony fan letters for his deluded boss, scented with Chanel #5. Jack works tirelessly each day except Wednesday, when Warren Beatty, Peter Fonda and Karen Black come over and, between bong hits and hands of canasta, swap bittersweet stories of the good old days of Hollywood, before "the suits" took over. Jack's downfall is completed when naive young screenwriter Heather Graham rejects his leering attempts at seduction and is found face down in Jack's swimming pool, bludgeoned to death with his best putter.
Next week: Nick Nolte and Walter Hill guzzle lukewarm Old Milwaukee and throw darts at a poster of Eddie Murphy.