[CAUTION: There’s a twist at the end of this blog item!]
So my editor’s flipping through back issues of EW, as he’s wont to do. And he comes across a 2004 cover story on The Village, the movie that officially ended the honeymoon between America and writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. The story, by the very fine Josh Rottenberg, begins thus:
“To the casual observer, the tourists and business types packed into a non-air-conditioned Manhattan bistro on a sweltering summer afternoon wouldn’t look like an inspiring cast of characters for a blockbuster thriller. But M. Night Shyamalan, the 34-year-old writer-director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, is not a casual observer. He scans the crowd intently, with the wry expression of a con man hunting for a mark. ”Okay,” he says, ”so there’s this lady over there who’s having this conversation, right?” He points to a middle-aged woman at a nearby table who’s innocently eating her lunch with her family, unaware she’s about to take a trip into the M. Night Zone….”
Is this sounding familiar? If you are a television-watching, carbon-based life-form, the answer is yes. It’s virtually a pitch for M. Night’s self-directed, self-starring, self-indulgent American Express commercial, in which he hungrily scans a crowded city bistro and dreams up story ideas based on the small human dramas unfolding at adjacent tables.
This can only mean one thing: Everything that has happened in this office since summer of 2004 has been part of one gigantic M. Night Shyamalan movie! Perhaps this is why there is an alien trapped in the breakroom pantry, why I have this inexplicable allergy to water, and why, as ex-girlfriends have oft noted, all the twists and turns of my life are unsatisfying and contrived.
Or maybe… maybe I’ve been dead THE WHOLE TIME. My editor says that would explain a lot.