I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter and know a lot of interesting people in this life and sometimes I get to watch others play them on a movie or television screen.

It was entertaining to watch Robin Williams portray Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam, even though Williams was nothing like Cronauer in either looks or mannerisms. I’ve known Adrian for more than 35 years and he is a unique character, not someone easily captured by an actor.

The same for the late Michael Kelly, the former writer and editor portrayed by Hank Azaria in Shattered Glass, the story of Steven Glass‘ hoodwinking of the New Republic. Azaria didn’t look like Mike nor did his performance approach anything close to his mannerisms.

Don Groshong is a friend and attorney in Alton, Illinois. His parents were longtime friends of Amy’s and we shared a passion for fast sports cars. Yet watching actor Cliff DeYoung try to portray Don on screen in Precious Victims, a 1993 made-for-TV movie about a famous murder case in the Alton area, was both painful and laughable.

Perhaps I expect too much when watching an actor try and portray a friend.

Or maybe the actors just needed to co a better job.