“Dreams don’t come true. Dreams…dreams are made true.”
So sayeth Russell Wilson, patron saint of undersize overachievers, deliverer of earnest soliloquies, haver of separation achieved through preparation. It may seem like just another line in an insurance commercial, but I’d argue that it was something much more powerful, much more important, much more essential to the bro zeitgeist: That truth bomb—Dreams are made true—I’m now quite sure, was the very inspiration for Entourage, a film about Hollywood, adult temper tantrums, molly-fueled boning, convertible luxury sedans, and also dreams.
Wilson is not the star of this movie. In fact, he only has three or four lines in its 104-minute run time. But his name might as well be over the title because I’ve never seen a single episode of the HBO series of the same name—which ran for eight seasons, foisted Adrian Grenier onto the world, and was an allegory for French imperialism in Indochina (I think?)—and therefore know nothing about its main characters. But here’s what I can gather: Vince (Grenier) is a fictitious Hollywood actor (based loosely on Mark Wahlberg and the golden retriever from Air Bud) who goes on the occasional audition when he’s not swapping sex partners with his best friend and manager, E (Kevin Connolly); other friend and flat-brimmed-hat supplier, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara); and sex-addicted half-brother, Matt Dillon (Kevin Dillon). Oh, and Jeremy Piven plays the nattily dressed homeless man they’ve befriended despite his propensity for screaming obscenities at inanimate objects.
Entourage begins with three-quarters of our crew stealthily piloting a small skiff toward a much larger boat with the objective of rescuing its passengers, malnourished women in ragged clothing who appear to have been sold into sexual slavery. Just kidding! They’re on their way to party on a yacht with Hollywood starlets, and Matt Dillon, upon looking at the attendees through binoculars, proclaims, “I may have to jerk it before we get there.” (The script was adapted from Tiger Woods’s Gchats with…everyone?) So you know it’s a movie you’ll want to see with your grandparents.
What’s the plot, you ask? Doesn’t matter. Because much like its cinematic peers, Robert Altman’s The Player and Dom DeLuise’s Cannonball Run, Entourage boasts an impressive number of cameos, and most come courtesy of aging white men so desperate to see themselves on the big screen again that they evidently didn’t mind appearing in a movie in which one character (okay, Matt Dillon) finds himself in the middle of a solo sex tape scandal: Chad Lowe, Kelsey Grammer, David Spade, Matt Lauer, Ed O’Neill, Bob Saget, Andrew Dice Clay, and Warren “I Have a Lot of Money But Not Enough to Pay Off the Producers of Entourage, Who Apparently Have Proof That I Own Furniture Made Out of Living People, So I’ll Just Agree to Be in Their Movie Instead” Buffet.
Few have more than one line. Most look tired and desperate. But only one—quarterback of the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson—embodies the soul of this movie. During a party thrown by Turtle, possibly to raise money for Vince’s mushrooming cocaine addiction, we eavesdrop as Wilson—playing himself—gives the host (who apparently used to be fat because every single person who speaks to him mentions that he used to be fat) an indispensable piece of advice. With the camera pulled back to show the sun setting behind the two characters (and on Wilson’s movie career), No. 3 says, “Just because you’re short, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams.”
Just because you’re short, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams. It’s a reference to Wilson’s triumph over his own vertical shortcomings, but it also applies to each of the movie’s main characters: Vince wants to direct his own movie, a gritty dystopian drama about a DJ who fights police oppression by drugging ravers with magical glowing Ecstasy. (I made up a lot of shit in this review, but that part is 100 percent true.) Turtle, who saw 50 Shades of Grey and pictured himself as Anastasia Steele, wants to date an MMA fighter. E wants to find some cargo shorts that fit. And Matt Dillon just wants to find a reliable sexting partner.
Just because you’re short [on ideas], that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams, is what director Doug Ellin must have heard as he scrambled to craft a story that would satisfy his admittedly easy-to-please overlords at HBO. How do I spice up a scene about two studio execs haggling over the edits of Vince's movie—because come on, nobody pays money to see people talk, he must have thought. Oh, right, I'll film the conversation in front of two lesbian prostitutes having sex!
My dream was to resist the temptation to walk out of the press screening because I couldn’t write this review otherwise. “Just because there’s a gay Asian character whose only purpose in this film is to be a punch line, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams,” Wilson whispered soothingly in my head. “Just because the tribal-tatted bro sitting next to you is laughing so hard at all of the gay jokes that he might rip his seat out of the ground, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams,” he said a little louder. “Just because Vince’s movie ends up making $450 million worldwide and earns him several Golden Globe nominations (whoops, sorry, spoiler!) despite the fact that the success wasn’t earned because his character neither grew nor changed, you can still achieve your dreams,” Wilson shouted in my head. And against all odds, my dream came true. No, wait, I made my dream come true.
Thank you, Russell Wilson. I hate you.