The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Vanity Fair: Clueless about California?

October 20, 2008 |  4:24 pm

Soloist2I was delighted to see that the new November issue of Vanity Fair took time out from its endless stream of puff jobs on young starlets--did you know that Amy Adams is "cheery and unpretentious, yet a serious dramatic actress too?"--to give a little ink to "The Soloist," the upcoming film based on a series of columns by our own stellar columnist, Steve Lopez. The movie, now slated for release in the spring, stars Robert Downey Jr. as Lopez and Jamie Foxx as Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless street musician whom Lopez befriended in the course of his rambles around downtown Los Angeles.

The magazine's featurette was a nice PR break for the film, especially since it ran in the fancy-pants up-front section of VF, just pages away from a catalog of Ashley Olsen's beauty products and an annotated photo of all the important things on Martha Stewart's desk. There was just  one teensy-weensy little problem. Renowned for its belief that New York is the center of the universe, VF forgot to turn on its global navigation device and reported that Lopez discovered Ayers playing a two-string violin "near the Beethoven statue in New York City's Pershing Square."

I know VF must assume that all important meetings occur in NYC, but actually Lopez happened upon Ayers while walking around L.A.'s own Pershing Square, not the one on East 42nd Street in New York. Obviously VF is unaware that, when it comes to the homeless, we Angelenos have the bragging rights. I guess it's easier to fact-check those starlet profiles than the stories about real-life newspaper columnists.

Photo of Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. in "The Soloist" by Francois Duhamel / DreamWorks