Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 363 - The Face That Launched 365 Viewings

Day 363.

It's about time I came clean--like all successful blogs, The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project was originally a misguided attempt to impress a girl. Incredibly misguided, really. I mean, like, what? How could me watching Julie & Julia every day for a year possibly get a girl to like me?

I don't know. I was in a dark place back then. I'm in a dark place now, actually. Darker, arguably. Actually no--definitively darker. But I digress. Though I've jokingly touched on it before, now it's finally time to reveal why I started the L/J&J Project, or rather, the face that launched 365 viewings of Julie & Julia.

No one would ever do this for me.

Flashback to last year: A naive 19-year-old Lawrence Dai sits alone atop his twin-XL size bed in his college single. It's 8:00 am. He's visibly tired. It had been a long night, the longest of nights. He had just turned in his final paper for a film analysis class and movies were on the mind. Movies, movies, movies. Lawrence had always enjoyed movies ever since he could remember--from Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather to Francis Ford Coppola's Jack--he liked 'em all. And he especially liked playing movies as he fell asleep, the actors' dialogue helping to drown out his own depressing thoughts of loneliness and despair.

But on this morn, as he deliriously scrolled through his Netflix instant queue, he happened upon a rather unique title--Julie & Julia. Maybe it was chance, maybe it was fate, but at that precise moment, he thought to himself, "Okay, why not? Seems inoffensive enough. It's got Meryl Streep and I don't really care if I fall asleep during it. I guess I'm watching Julie & Julia." Little did he know, with one simple click of the play button, Lawrence's life was about to change forever.

Someday I hope to look up to someone sharing my bed.

The movie began to play, and though he had intended to go to sleep, Lawrence tossed and turned in bed, his eyes never leaving the computer monitor. What was going on? Is there going to be a conflict anytime soon? What purpose does Amy Adams' character serve? Who does that husband character remind you of? Why do they keep cutting back to this blogger lady? Is half of this movie really about a blogger blogging about the other half... what?!? WHY DOES THIS FILM EXIST?!?

Thoughts of dissonance rang in Lawrence's mind. He couldn't take it anymore--he had to tell someone about it. But he couldn't just tell anyone he was watching Julie & Julia at 8:00 am on a Monday morning. He had to phrase it as a joke. "That's it!" he thought to himself. "A joke text! All my friends love it when I send them joke texts!"

They don't.

And he knew just the friend--or rather, someone he wished was more than a friend--a girl, nay, a woman, who would undoubtedly appreciate his wry sense of humor and wit. He furiously thumbed away on his cellphone keyboard, crafting the perfect, somewhat flirtatious, series of joke texts:
Me: Hey, have you ever seen Julie & Julia?
Her: yea
Me: Wouldn't it be funny if I watched the movie Julie & Julia every day for a year and then blogged about it?
Her: nike
Me: What?
Me: Maybe I WILL.
So much undeniable chemistry, right? I mean, c'mon--you can't make this shit up. It was love. Undeniable, honest, real love and nothing less.

As true a love as love could be.

And thus, the L/J&J Project was born. I was tired. I was sex-deprived. I was eager to prove this girl wrong--to show her that I was fully capable of action, of emotion. They always say that men fear commitment--well, if this wasn't going to show her I could commit to something, then nothing would. I was going to win her heart by actually following through on a hare-brained scheme of mine. I was going to impress her by watching Julie & Julia every day for 365 days.

I know this sounds kooky and fairly irrational, but what is love if not kooky and irrational? That's what life is all about, isn't it? The grand theatrical gestures of romance? The pledge to do something so crazy, so insane--that a deep passionate, burning love could be the only possible explanation behind it all?

Yes. It was love and it was real. And unfortunately, it was unrequited. 

But that didn't change a thing. After bearing the sting of rejection, I turned back to Julie & Julia, the only thing I'd known, the only thing I had, the only constant in my life. And I gradually recovered.

Because I fell in love with my readers. And myself.

I grew to love my blogging voice and persona as much as I had once loved her. And everything was well again. I found other loves--Meryl Streep, the smell of butter, the feeling of watching the end credits roll. And I met new girls too, all of them completely blown away by my internet fame and dashing good looks. She and I kept in touch--occasionally exchanging flirtatious texts and dick pics--but we inevitably grew apart. She's been an avid reader and supporter of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project since Day 1 and I have her to thank for all of my riches and spoils--both monetary and sexual.

To paraphrase this movie I once saw, "It turned out to be Jeannette. It turned out to be Jeannette all along."

Thanks, friend.


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "It's okay. I wasn't in love with him."


  1. This is romantic, creepy, and awesome. Great story!

  2. This was one of your best blogs yet :) But I must say.. the title is misleading! You never showed us this face that launched 365 viewings. You merely talked about it :-P

  3. I love this! totally agree with what kittykat said... romantic creepy awesomeness.

  4. This is your best post yet.

    Fate is funny. Unrequited love is usually the universe opening a door for you.

    I hope you find another project when this one ends. Your voice needs an outlet.

  5. I don't know what I'm going to do without your posts. Please don't stop blogging after this is done!

  6. It was that 12 year old girl whose house you had dinner at, wasn't it?

  7. I've never commented on anything on the Internet before, but I kept up with your blog all this last year. This is my favorite entry of all. Thank you for writing, and I really hope you start something else, once you've had some time to recover!

  8. this was awesome. not sure whether you meant it or whether you were being ridiculous, but isn't that what love is?! kooky and irrational?!

    anyway, really heartfelt. i like vulnerable lawrence!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (anticipatedly)

  9. (sorry things didn't work out with jeannette)

  10. sorry things didn't work out with Sophie.


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