Louise. Who is she? Well, for starters, she is a housewife living in Greenwich Village, New York City with her demanding husband and two children who are, by the way, both seven years old--but not twins. Her days are filled with mundane chores. She's a pleaser. Yet, there's a lot more to Louise. She whispers. And what we get to hear are her innermost needs, urges, and cravings. When we meet her in short episodes created by Anne Flournoy, she seems to be having trouble mediating between the dull and the caprice.
A few guesses may get you closer to figuring out how Flournoy created Louise. She's got a bit of Seinfeld's Elaine in her, she's not as cocky as Louis C.K., but she is definitely channeling some Sigmund Freud. From the external world, there's a lot of stuff coming at her. Controlling it makes her look a little odd and ill-at-ease. Watching her embrace compulsive sexual desires, while keeping it all safely in her head, is seductive. The porthole to the inside is through the alluring blue eyes of the female who portrays her, Christine Cook. As you watch her move about her life, you'll feel normal. Because someone else is thinking, what you are thinking.
The skits last somewhere between two to ten minutes and unfurl like this:
"How to Take It Like a Girl" is a hurried scene of Louise rushing to pick-up her children at school. She is so late that she imagines the principle will have the police ambush her and take her out in handcuffs. But Louise bumps into Steve, who apparently is a former art teacher/professor. First she is glad to see him, but after a few slips of the tongue from the teacher like "You look older", she begins to feel as though she's lived her life as a superficial person who has no interest in anything. Instead, she's been living her life with children and feeling like an indentured servant. Steve, enjoying a successful run of his career, can't get over himself. As much as she would like to punch him in the face, she takes it just like a girl would--lowers her head and goes into a coughing spell.
In "How to Interview Babysitters", we find Louise intently cleaning. She's a few minutes away from interviewing, and she doesn't want to expose her chaotic life. Desiring to be the boss of her own life, Louise doesn't really seem to know how. As the scene unfolds, one prospective sitter, Irina, is a half hour early. The next interviewee, Svetlana, is late. And a third, Amy, is soon ringing the doorbell. She juggles the consultations with restrained composure. A quick glimpse of a New York Times article framed and placed on Louise's kitchen countertop reads: "Using Life's Dull Clay to Mold the Fantasy of Life". This caption puts the entire scene in perspective. Is Louise looking for a babysitter/housecleaner? Or is she looking to feel the meat of her own body and shed her fears? Irina's very bossy and uses lemon with her tea; Louise believes this has to do with self-esteem. Svetlana, an extremely sexy computer programmer, wears a low cut dress to the interview. She reminds Louise of a pure and juicy mango who's exposed as well as alive. Amy decides not to stay for the interview. Svetlana gets the job.
"How to Deal with a Hot Repairman" is a quick lustful encounter for Louise. When she answers her front door she thinks she is going to find a female repair person on the other side. But, the man's name is Raj. He is there to repair her mother-in-law's bathroom ceiling. At first thinking he might be a rapist, she then decides he must be happily married to a woman who probably wears a Burqa. Surprised by the sexual attraction, she tries to keep her composure. After explaining what needs to be done, Raj decides to do the job immediately. Louise, in lust for the handy man, wonders how her babysitter Svetlana would handle the situation. Assured that Svetlana would handle it with confidence and fun, Louise's lust is tamed by her own personal prison guard: herself.
"How to Cope With Your Inner Cat" takes Louise to her first therapy session. Her inner cat is bugging her--it won't stop meowing. Louise's witch doctor diagnoses the problem as artist block, her self-conscious asking for something. Not a people person, Louise does not know how to ask for anything, she feels empty and sad inside as if she ate a big rock. The therapist, however, offers her a large bag of onions and a sharp knife and asks her to dice them. 'Therapy does not need to be complicated or mysterious," the doctor says. He suggests that she put the sculptures on the shelf, cry good tears, and think about making a web series. "You can go anywhere you want. Comedy. Drama. Even a doc [umentary]" suggests the therapist. Leaving the office cured, Louise is convinced the key to happiness is to ask. Her inner cat no longer meows.
As you watch Louise mold the clay of her dull life into fantasies, you might find yourself contemplating with a smile on your face more than laughing out loud. But, like Seinfeld's Elaine, it's easy to become friends with Louise. Right now, there are two seasons on YouTube. But, there's a lot more that Louise has to whisper to us about the mind-numbing life and the self-contained compulsions. In order to fund the making of season three, Anne Flournoy has launched a fund raising campaign on Seed & Spark. But, she doesn't want to tie down Louise to only YouTube. On May 7th, a black-and-white feature film entitled How To Be Louise--which lays the groundwork for the entire Louise Log--will be available on Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes.
You can subscribe to The Louise Log web series on YouTube.
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