I’m a late bloomer when it comes to being fast and furious. The franchise never really spoke to me until I saw Fast Five, and that experience changed my life. Shiny muscle cars, throbbing action sequences, and a homoerotic plotline between The Rock and Vin Diesel’s characters that was practically a modern day interpretation of Brokeback Mountain? Yes, please. Because I have a friend who works at Universal and has endured many a drunken soliloquy about how obsessed I am with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, she kindly asked me if I’d like to attend the Fast & Furious 6 premiere as her plus one. To this I said, “Thank you for requesting to accompany me on this journey to meet my soulmate. As repayment for this gift, you can be a bridesmaid at our wedding.”
I sometimes have problems managing my expectations when it comes to glamorous events like premieres, or birthday parties, or nights out at dive bars. I often approach these nights with 100% certainty that the stars will align and something truly magical will happen. More often than not, the most magical thing that happens is me getting home safely after having had one too many drinks, but I count my blessings. Every night out is also an opportunity to die.
Back to Fast & Furious 6, me, The Rock, our future together, etc.: I prepped for the premiere by working out a lot, and talking to everyone I knew about the situation at hand. I got feedback on what to wear–a friend’s boyfriend said “sensible, black pants,” assuring that I will never again ask him for fashion advice, and my best friend from college, said “anything that shows your legs,” further solidifying her best friend status. She also came up with the brilliant opening line: “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Stone Cold Steve Austin?” Add to this that I’d Googled The Rock’s current girlfriend and found out she is a brunette (like me). This, coupled with the right outfit and a hilarious ice-breaker, assured that I was definitely on my way to winning Dwayne’s affection. Let me just clarify that I’m not a boyfriend stealer. I just believe that people who are meant to be together end up together, and Dwayne and I are meant to be, so this was just an opportunity to plant the seed and let the universe take care of the rest.
I arrived at Universal City feeling great about life. Film premieres are generally enjoyable experiences. At the very least you are assured free food and the chance to see a movie before it’s actually out in theaters, and sometimes (as in the case of Fast & Furious 6) a Ludacris concert! Yes, Ludacris and 2 Chainz performed before the movie. They were also joined by a third performer who was wearing a really chic Givenchy shirt, but I didn’t know who he was. Tyrese emceed the whole thing. The concert took place at Universal CityWalk, which is a loud, neon sign-ridden shopping center in The Valley mostly frequented by tourists and…teenagers I guess? Honestly it’s one of the worst places in all of LA and I don’t know who actually goes there for fun, but Fast & Furious 6 is a Universal movie, so you do the math. I didn’t go to the concert, because I cannot deal with a CityWalk moment this late in life, but I did watch a live feed of the show from a bar outside the theater where the movie was showing, and can say that it looked like a blast. I was actually sad to have missed seeing Ludacris perform live, and unfazed re: 2 Chainz. We’re over him now, right? Vin Diesel also got on stage. I was hoping he would sing, but instead he did this weird thing where he’d repeat the same sentence three times in a row. He would say things like “I love you. I love you. I love you,” and, “Get the message. Get the message. Get the message.” I don’t know if he was trying to create an echo effect, or if the three-peat is just a classic Vin Diesel move, but the sentiment was sweet-natured so I let it go.
Once the concert was over, everyone filed into the Gibson Amphitheater to watch the movie itself. All the cast members took their seats right before it started. Ludacris, Tyrese and his girlfriend filed in, and Vin showed up with a huge security escort just as the lights went down, but no Dwayne! It was a little suspicious that he’d been noticeably absent during the pre-movie concert, but my friend had told me he was scheduled to do some sort of promotional appearance at a different theater, so I figured at the very least he’d be showing up for the last half of the film and the after party. I mean, come on! This is Fast & Furious 6 we’re talking about, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is top-billed talent. But the movie started and he was nowhere to be seen.
Fast & Furious 6 is incredible. I’m not even lying. Definitely go see it. It has everything: love, death, a baby, high-octane action, amazing special effects. Vin Diesel and The Rock actually fly through the air, Matrix-style during a couple fight scenes. I think this is new. They certainly didn’t do that in Fast Five. Also, it’s funny! This franchise knows how to serve its audience exactly what they want to see. And can we just talk about Tyrese for a minute? He is living the dream, one Fast & Furious film at a time. His character got the most laughs in Fast & Furious 6, so there you have it: Tyrese Gibson = loving life right now.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t like Fast & Furious 6 as much as I liked Fast Five. I mean, it was amazing but it was also hard for me to pay attention because I kept scanning the theater for people walking in and out, in hopes that they were my love: The Rock. Also let’s be real: Fast Five is a sweaty, glistening, game-changer of a movie, so it’s hard to beat. When a muscular, bald man walked in and sat to the left of the row I was sitting in, I thought destiny had finally thrown me a damn bone but alas, it was not Dwayne Johnson. It was just a bald guy in a suit.
After the film ended I was starting to feel deflated and nauseous, but had to press on because the afterparty was starting! There was a summer barbecue-themed buffet, and a gaggle of go-go dancers gyrating on a stage surrounded by dessert tables, and all the vehicles from the movie on display throughout the party venue. What’s not to love? Surely The Rock wouldn’t want to miss this. Except he did miss it. He missed it all. My suspicions that he wasn’t in attendance were confirmed when a fellow partygoer lamented the fact that he hadn’t shown up. Well this is a wash, I thought to myself. Also, back off bitch. He’s mine.
I drank a few beers and indulged in more mini hot dogs than I would have liked, I made one of my friends take a picture of me in front of the movie poster pointing at The Rock’s crotch, Michelle Rodriguez took over the DJ booth for a while and played some really basic top 40 hits. Then Vin Diesel grabbed the mic and did another “Get the message,” three-peat, which at this point I found more confusing than endearing. 2 Chainz was hanging around but he’s not that exciting anymore so I didn’t care. His chic Givenchy-wearing rapper friend was running around being tinier than I expected him to be. The most surprising thing about the party was how many cute guys were in attendance. If I hadn’t been so upset about The Rock not being there, I would have totally talked to one of them.
It was officially time to go when Vin Diesel left the party flanked by ten huge security guards. He walked right past me, and hugged a fan on the way out who completely lost her shit–like, dropped to her knees screaming afterwards. I think he and I made eye contact for a split second (he was wearing sunglasses so it’s hard to tell) and all I wanted to say was “I love that Rihanna video you made,” but instead I just waved and weakly bleated “Hi Vin.” Fail. The party was over. The go-go dancers were still doing their thing, but you could tell they were counting the minutes until they could get off that stage, go home and put on some sweatpants. The night was memorable. I got home safely. And as for me and Dwayne, there’s always the Fast 7 premiere. Or Fast 8. Or Fast 9…