I really had to hold my breath for a second to think of what Tina Fey’s dress reminded me of. The image sprang into my head immediately but I had to wait for it to sort of self-locate, because it was so specific. Ready?
There is a part in the book, not the movie, ‘Circle of Friends’, where the character Benny buys a dress for a dance but her parents are going to see it, so her friend makes her a ‘pleated modesty vest’ so that the parents won’t freak out.
That’s what I thought was going on with Tina Fey’s dress. It’s just so goldarned proper. It’s what your mother would call ‘decent’. Tina Fey’s dress is unimpeacheable – except that it has a pleated modesty vest.
It’s funny, right? Allison Janney is superbly, obviously sexy – maybe overtly, after so many years in CJ Cregg’s suits – and Amy Poehler seems like she can throw down like a teenager with whoever’s in the front row (though at one point I caught her studiously avoiding eye contact with a seat-filler). So how come Tina Fey is, you know, the mom?
Hold on to your hats with this science, but I think it’s because she’s the mom.
That is, she’s now responsible for so many people, and I think when she’s not actively having a movie romance or promoting herself, that her natural tendency is to protect.
Did you see her during Tracy Morgan’s speech? When he comes out first, she’s all quietly proud. Man, that speech was well crafted. It was so sad and so affecting, and the first joke lands at the 1:32 mark. Relief. Then, at 1:47, that’s when he says ‘young women are going to get pregnant at the afterparty’. it turned the corner into wickedly funny at just the right time, and that’s when you see the camera cut to Tina, covering her eyes.
She’s always joked about being a stoic emotionless German, but I bet you anything that moment on camera was her covering her eyes as she realized one of her ‘kids’ was back.
I’m attaching another of her ‘kids’, Ellie Kemper, because it is a crying shame that her dress did not get more play. The hair and the makeup, though, I could do without.