05/17/2012 11:10 am ET Updated Jul 17, 2012

Your Free Ticket to Cannes

Life in L.A. as a commoner can often be disheartening this time of year.  You'll inevitably have a bunch of pretty friends who somehow got invited to Cannes (which starts tomorrow) while you're stuck booking and re-booking travel for your "I only fly business class, aisle seats on British Airways" jerk of a boss. C'est la vie. After several years spent dealing with this, we've decided to focus not on what we don't have -- a room at the Hotel du Cap -- but on what we do have, which includes a very active, poverty-inspired imagination.  Today, we've put it to use on some suggestions for DIY'ing a Cannes experience.  Who needs a yacht on the French Riviera when you've got an early 20th century bathtub and some Trader Joe's bubbly?    

If you feel like creating a Cannes experience while out on the town, you may want to reference our Parisian Day in LA itinerary.  Add into the mix French newbie hotspots Faux Pas and Pour Vous, and you might almost be able to imagine you picked up a passport stamp while in traffic on the 10.  

We also suggest doing a run of the happy hour offerings along the "Santa Monica Riviera" -- which is what we're creatively calling the little cluster of beach-adjacent hotels inclusive of Casa Del Mar, Shutters, and Loews.  If you're feeling particularly ambitious, pop down the top on your imaginary Peugeot Cabrio convertible and drive up PCH to Malibu Seafood for some fresh mussels.  

You may also want to invest in French lessons via this Daily Candy deal at the Alliance Francaise de Los Angeles, or you could stick to simply reading Cannes Confidential or The Winner Stands Alone while generously paying $20 for a Coca Cola somewhere, just as you would at any one of Cannes' finest hotels. (Hopefully, the only way to achieve this in L.A. is to leave a $17 tip alongside your empty soda.) 

If leaving the house feels too "ambitious" this weekend (trust us, we have those days... so many of those days... ), you can bring the Riviera home by hosting your own Cannes-themed party.  Sure, you can't afford a yacht, but you can wear these to help your guests imagine the experience.  Speaking of guests, you should be sure to invite only those assistant friends who work for powerful people in the business -- if you can't do some blatant agenda-pushing with their bosses over a 3,000-Euro bottle of champagne, you can at least plant a few seeds for future success over a Lillet and soda.  

You should absolutely screen some past Palme D'Or winners -- we suggest Sex, Lies & Videotape and/or Pulp Fiction -- to distract your guests whilst your Pissaladiere bakes.  You may also want to offer your guests some Socca, a street treat from the South of France, and some broke-girl-friendly Nicoise Salad made with canned tuna (hint: use the kind packed in olive oil) to further trick them into thinking they're not actually stuck at your apartment somewhere off of Fairfax. Serve your meal with the aforementioned Trader Joe's bubbly and voila -- you're so almost in Cannes!  Before your guests go, make sure they place their bets on who will be this year's festival winners.  To best honor the spirit of Cannes, however, you should only allow them to enter the pool if they are male.

If you need more ideas on how to ghetto-rig a vacay, watch this ridiculous video from our friend Brookie P.