You know this story because it’s yours and it’s mine. David Lipsky and David Foster Wallace, two gifted writers, meet for the first time in 1996 in the movie “The End of the Tour” on a day like today. Wallace is an acclaimed novelist on tour selling his latest book and Lipsky, also a published author, is assigned by Rolling Stone Magazine, to write a profile piece on DFW. Wallace teachers creative writing at a Midwest university,
TWO DAVES BOND
The chemistry is right between Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky with James Ponsoldt directing. One reviewer called it “funny” but that misses the point. Maybe it’s ironic. Both characters are in thirty-something limbo and meet at the right time. The dynamics of bonding are explored where the two Daves are first antagonists but find they have much in common. Lipsky stays overnight at Wallace’s home and snoops through his stuff to get a better idea about the “real” Wallace.
TOUR ENDS IN MINNEAPOLIS
Lipsky and Wallace then fly to Minneapolis where Wallace, at the end of the book tour, gets a short downtown tour. On the way to the reading, they pass the Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicollet Mall which is a defining local icon, their local driver explains, but to some visitors it’s hokey small town bad taste hilarious. The two writers do more sharing at the Mall of America with the theme park in the background, another iconic Twin Cities venue.
YOU KNOW THESE GUYS
“Of Course You End Up Being Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace” is the book by David Lipsky which was made into the movie “The End of the Tour.” Some memorable references in the movie about the two Daves: They choose to take dates to see an incredibly bad action guy movie at the Mall. Wallace is addicted to TV, likes the 1939 classic movie “Algiers” and his “best friend” is a junker Honda Civic. Questions of uncomfortable conforming while being misunderstood in a perceived hostile society must be issues for many writers as they are for the two Daves.
“TOUR” RESEMBLES “VELVET”
In the British movie “Velvet Goldmine,” a Rolling Stone reporter bonds with gay glitter band 70s rockers with the reporter played by Christian Bale. Like “The End of the Tour,” it’s good to be a Rolling Stone writer where the assignments are better than what I knew as an Idaho Statesman reporter in the 1960s.