Surely I Can’t Be Serious: I Bid Farewell to Movieline

You can call me Shirley. It’s fine.

Everything about writing a final post for Movieline is overwhelming, so bear with me as I wrap my head around how wonderful and challenging an experience I’ve had writing for this site for two and a half years. And what the hell? Let’s watch my favorite movie scene of all time too.

So, yes. I’m leaving Movieline to become the West Coast Entertainment Editor for, where I’ll be addressing Movieline-y topics once again -- and with the same number of Sandy Dennis references. Please join me there from time to time! But before I depart, I have to thank my awesome, seriously reliable, astoundingly intelligent colleagues – including some who’ve been with me since my first post in August of ’09.

Thank you to Stu VanAirsdale, a kickass editor, confidant, and the best writer I’ve ever worked with; to Kyle Buchanan, a great friend who convinced his boss to hire me; to Seth Abramovitch, who set the standard for Movieline hilarity; to Christopher Rosen, whose jocularity and love of Katy Perry singles added vigor to my Movieline experience; to Jen Yamato, whose supportive ebullience has been wonderful; to Stephanie Zacharek, Michelle Orange, and Alison Willmore, who are so right; to Movieline’s killer commenters, you all tickle me inappropriately (especially The Winchester), and most of all, to my beloved Julie Miller, who forded a hundred Television Critics Association panels with me, listened when I needed consultation on an article, tweet, or Facebook profile photo, and responded to my every issue with ladylike, yet monotone reassurance. I already miss you all. And Anjelica Huston. You were maybe the best.

I’m always jealous when I interview a celebrity and he/she gets to play Movieline’s fun feature My Favorite Scene. So, as a last-minute act of defiance, I’m hitting you with my fave moment in cinematic history. In Rear Window, when Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter search the courtyard for – y’know – a dead lady, James Stewart watches on in astonishment as Grace opts for autonomy, climbs into a murder suspect’s (Raymond Burr) apartment, and puts her own life at risk. Grace’s sudden empowerment is so dazzling, cool, and self-possessed, it’s like she invented Madonna in that moment. And we all know how much that means to me.

For further Virtel adventures, you can find me in my web series Verbal Vogueing and see me in my second Chelsea Lately roundtable appearance this January 18th on E! Thanks for everything, guys. My (Hitchcock) blonde ambition is more ferocious than ever.


  • HappyGoLucky says:

    In a rare rarity, I am first to the post so permit me to be the first to say you will be missed BUT congratulations on the new gig.

    And I second the notion about The Winchester.

  • forever1267 says:

    Farewell, Louis.

  • Nooooo! You can't leave us, Mr. Virtel! You just can't!

    But if you insist on this heartbreaking course, godspeed. We'll always have Clue. And Rowlf hair.

  • Capote99 says:

    Very best wishes, Louis. I will be watching for you at AfterElton.

  • Meh.... says: sad to hear you're leaving. I'll definitely keep an eye out for you on Good luck!

  • The Winchester says:

    To paraphrase D. Vader: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Tonight I cry the tears outta my face!

    It's been a marvelous time, good sir, and know that you shall be missed. Thank you for the laughs (and the tears), the occasional shoutouts, and the appreciation of all things awesome about this silly business of movies that we love.

    I wish you the best in all your future endeav... enduever...


    Your pal, Winchester.

    (Appy polly logies if similar messages pop up, I've tried thrice now to post this)

  • Quirky- says:

    Oh, Louis, say it ain't true. *sob*

    I'll miss your Movieline shenanigans; your witty, bitchy, oh-so-gay (happy!) commentary is always a delight. Good luck for the future!

  • Dimo says:

    I knew this day would come, but I tried not to think about it.

    I'll keep this short with no snark. You got my humor when no one else did. You championed my comments even when they were lackluster. You made me feel so welcomed here, and I will never forget it.

    What can I're my fav, and I will always consider you a friend.

    Movieline will never be the same without you.

    Good luck buddy! -Dimo

  • zooeyglass1999 says:

    First Chris Rosen and now you?!!

  • miles silverberg says:

    Everybody loves Louis
    Him as well as his cakes
    Everybody loves Louis
    Me included, Goerge

    Not afraid to be gooey
    Louis sells what he makes
    Everybody gets along with him
    That's the trouble, nothing's wrong with him!

    (OK those last two lines don't apply, but I'LL MISS YOU!!1)

  • sosgemini says:

    Reading this just broke my heart a lil. 🙁

  • G says:

    Louis, I will miss you at movieline but I will follow you like a tween sheep flocking to a vampire movie. You are the best.