I just got around to watching The Town, the crime drama co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. The 2010 film, based on Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves, focuses on a group of four friends in the Boston (or, as the locals call it: Bah-stahn) neighborhood of Charlestown that, among other things, is known for its Irish heritage, rampant oxycontin use and having more armored car and bank robbers than anywhere else in America. The friends rob a local bank, where Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) is an employee, and are disguised in nun costumes for the heist. Claire is held as a hostage and, after she’s let go, they decide to monitor her activity. Affleck’s character Doug MacRay volunteers to keep watch, ultimately blurring the lines of their interactions. The relationship that unfolds between Claire and Doug feels inevitable from the moment they “meet” in a laundromat (making them the best laundry-folding, meet-cute couple since Josh Hartnett and Shannyn Sossaman in 40 days and 40 nights). The plot then unfolds amidst a tangled web of romance, robbery, the FBI and the Irish mob. Needless to say, it’s a compelling film. But I have some suggestions about what Claire would do with the $$$ Doug gives her (bured in her garden, no less. He really gets her.)
10. Buy herself a new house so she can get out of the “ghetto” and her future boyfriends won’t have to hunt down hoodlums and then viciously attack them à la Doug.
9. Make friends with Krista Coughlin, played by Blake Lively; take her to Sephora, get her a makeover. Buy all the neutral-toned makeup they suggest and encourage its daily use. Bobbi Brown is good for that. I’m a Lively fan, but that technicolor makeup just does not work for Miss Serena van der Woodsen. Tone it down, Blake! This isn’t a Cindy Sherman portrait.
8. Speaking of Blake Lively, maybe Claire can create an educational fund for Krista’s daughter Shyne because her future doesn’t seem so bright. Hello! Her name is Shyne. And her mother drives her around while she’s on oxycontin, coke and alcohol. Get that girl in a boarding school.
7. Open up a cute flower shop! Because Town Florist, run by The Town’s Irish crime lord, clearly is going out of business. (Spoiler alert: he dies.) Plus, people love their flowers.
6. Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd. (OK, this isn’t actually a thing; I just wanted to say it. And I don’t even think Claire Keesey has a car. But she could buy one.)
5. Get a condo somewhere in Florida. It’s nice there in the winter, and um, Ben Affleck is going to be there (we think). Did you see those muscles?
4. Hire a dialect coach to perfect the Charlestown native accent so she can stop sounding like a damn gentrifiying toonie.
3a. Beef up security at the bank so they’ll never be robbed again; hire full-time robber-sniffing guard dogs, invent and install DNA-tracking doors that only open for non-robbers.
3b. Or wait, she could just quit her job and go somewhere else that doesn’t… get robbed.
2. Go back in time, become a music supervisor IRL, get really good at that. Then, go forward in time, continue to be a movie star IRL and get the same role in The Town while simultaneously being its music supervisor so there are more songs than that one by Jason DeRulo and Ray LaMontagne’s “Jolene.” Do Irish people not like music or something?!
1. Buy some new plants for that little garden (those flowers are looking kind of dull, Claire) and turn it into an heirloom-producing powerhouse. Open it up to local schools and teach kids about agriculture and farming. Plus they can help plant stuff. That would be really fulfilling, esp. after the traumatic few months she’s had. And why not open up a restaurant next door while you’re at it? Clam chowder is good and all but people just love fresh produce and Boston could use a little dose of Alice Waters. It worked for Brooklyn!