Saturday, October 28, 2006

Blythe Blythe

It was Thursday night (the day before Simon Le Bon's birthday, not that that has to do with anything) and I had my ticket in hand. Having packed my survival kit (water, knitting, sudoku, toothpicks, Altoids, eyedrops, a pencap--don't ask--and rubber bands), I prayed my nerves could stand the sight of Gale Harold so close. The play was Suddenly, Last Summer by Tennessee Williams.

As the usher pointed out my seat, I could see the universe was protecting me. Third row on the side, an aisle seat and a perfect path toward the exit. I relaxed, listened to Ray and Martha discuss a golf game, watched as the tallest man sat in front of me, played a sudoku puzzle. The lights dimmed and suddenly, in that second, Gale Harold and Blythe Danner were on stage. I didn't even have to squint to see their facial features.

Before I go any further, Blythe Danner must be added to the list below of worthy over-50 women to emulate. She and Carla Gugino stole the play. My beloved Gale was mostly a tall, thin prop in a seersucker suit. Noticed a few blond streaks in his hair and wondered if he liked them. Were they permanent streaks?

Blythe Danner was beautiful and lent a softness to the crazy mother caricature. She seemed so at ease on stage, even when her cane didn't fasten to her wheelchair properly, so she asked Gale to hold it for her. She faked breathlessness so well that I started to get breathless. As she did her opening monologue, I asked myself how much time it took for her to memorize the lines. Did she get nervous anymore?

Then Carla Gugino appeared and while recognizable from movies like Spy Kids and Sin City, she is a brilliant stage actress. She wore this white dress and heels I wish I could have pulled off. When she dashed up the steps, I hoped that she wouldn't trip. Then what would happen? Would they have to stop the play or would Carla just improvise, the blood from skinning her knee a sort of morbid mix with her white dress? See, this is why I don't see a lot of plays. Overthinking.
So, I pretty much forgot about Gale and was riveted by the two female leads. From time to time, I reminded myself that he was only thirty feet from me. And what would it be like if I just walked up on stage? But I didn't. And there was no hyperventilating. Just a nice evening and a so-so production with some great moments.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Harry Potter Haiku

Fame makes dating hard
I will use my magic wand
It's a real live girl

The accent makes me
For behold, I am Zygote
Brit, teen, oh so clean

Urban Rehab-se

Dear Keith Urban,

A lone tear crept down my cheek when I read the news about your going into rehab. I don't really listen to your music and only know you as Nicole Kidman's husband, but the sympathy is there. I know what it feels like to kick an addiction. You see, three years ago, I gave up caffeine and cigarettes. Starting at fourteen, I drank four caffeinated beverages a day and puffed a pack of any butts I could find--Marlboros, Parliaments, yes, even Capri menthols. Then, twenty-*&* years later, I gave up both. Oh sure, smoking air cigarettes helped me through those first few months of withdrawal, as did accidentally emailing ex-boyfriends from ten years ago, but I've found no substitute for the morning shakes after high-powered mud-coffee.

There's so much pressure to drink coffee. If you say you want decaf, the eye-rolling is constant and you might as well ask Coffeeman for warm pee. Then, you don't want to be associated with those who don't drink coffee (the ones who claim not to like the taste or be allergic), but inevitably, that's what happens. I'll admit, I want to slip some mojo in my joe, but then I remember the monster headache come early afternoon. And if I were a character on Lost, I'd go through withdrawal symptoms. Unless I could get into the hatch.

Keith, we applaud your acting on your own behalf before slobbering racial slurrs on policepeople or strategically timing your rehab to coincide with a movie debut. Dish is with you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gettin' It Post-50: Part II

Just saw The Queen and now have a girl-crush on Helen Mirren. She definitely belongs in the group of women over 50 who do it better than anyone. This movie and Helen provide a complex view (though my mum thinks it's romanticized) of Her Highness, especially during Diana's death. Helen acts her butt off and is subjected to the world's ugliest clothing. Did want to snatch those pearls off her neck, wear them and stomp on those large glasses. Somehow, Helen made it all look good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gettin' It Post-50

As this celebrity-aholic approaches 40, she feels she might as well be 50 or even 60, since life is pretty much going to be this way until the end--with some minor evolutions, multiple shocks and age-related rituals (colonoscopy). So, what else is there to look forward to?

That's where I had to look toward my elders, who are doing it better than anyone else:

1. In Cet-Amour La, Jeanne Moreau--I do a dead-on imitation of her, you can ask my brother--plays Marguerite Duras and bewitches an adoring, twenty-three-year-old writer. They don't show any skin, just some passionate pecks and Jeanne ordering him around, which looked like fun.

2. Diane Keaton gets to sleep with both Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves in Something's Gotta Give. I would have chosen Keanu, not only for the obvious reasons, but also so that I could quiz him in medical jargon since he played a doctor.

3. Charlotte Rampling in anything, but most recently, Vers le Sud, where she bumps and grinds with her dude in a swimming pool. And are we surprised she played a cameo role in Basic Instinct 2--okay, yes, given the movie was so heinous?

4. I always love Jacqueline Bisset, who is more sexy now than twenty years ago. I think there's a Lifetime movie where she falls in love with the son of some neighbor--no, wait, that's Lynda Carter...or Susan Lucci. Jacqueline is still amazing.

Just to name a few bodacious over-50 babes... And then there's always Barbra Streisand, mentioned below. Maybe there are a few things to look forward to.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Wanna be my kid?
Gotta get that damn Jolie
Mommy's prettier

Always be faster
And better than damn Jolie
Check my Pilates

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Suddenly, I Fell Asleep

I'm going to see Tennesse Williams's Suddenly, Last Summer off Broadway in a couple weeks and had to prepare myself for being disturbed by freaky elements (ex: like last year's The Pillowman. Did enjoy it even during my panic attack over children being tortured and murdered). I rented the movie, starring Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. How I wanted to be dazzled since old moviestars and classics are supposed to dazzle and remind us of past eloquence. Unfortunately, I had the same reaction as with Hitchcock's Spellbound. ZZZZZZZZZZ. I realize I should be killed since Tennessee Williams is one of the untouchables.

My feeling is that the whole insanity, transference, exploration of the mind, shrink thing seems too self-indulgent and mundane given our world's constant need to analyze, explore and improve one's psychological mind-set. While potentially fascinating sixty years ago, psychoanalysis has been overmined in movies, television, pop culture since.

Will always love Katharine Hepburn but here she seemed too caricaturish to be frightening. As far as scary mothers go, Angela Lansbury of The Manchurian Candidate is more chilling. In my mind, Elizabeth Taylor delivered the best performance. She didn't have to pull her hair or cross her eyes to play a disturbed woman. And yet her last monologue via hypnosis--where she gushes about wearing the white bathing suit and how the people gobbled Sebastien up like animals--was more comical than cathartic. I hope someday to throw a big hissy and have Montgomery Clift there to comfort me at the end. At least, I won't throw it in the middle of a packed theater.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

She Can Do As Many Farewell Tours As She Wants

Growing up, I thought she was kind of beautiful. The nose, the mouth, eyes and curviness were a dizzying combination of strength and sexiness. Today, there is truly no one like her rising in the ranks.

I memorized Funny Girl when I wanted to be an actress. Then, when my interests turned strictly to boys, I relished her romantic comedies and those duets she did with stud singers (Don Johnson, Andy Gibb, Kris Kristofferson). I think The Main Event was my favorite, until I saw it recently and got bored.

I lost touch with Barbra during my Duran Duran-obsessed years. Then, she did The Mirror Has Two Faces, which was so hilariously bad, I had to listen to her music again and support her even with the box office bombs. After rewatching The Way We Were, I concluded Robert Redford never loved her because she was too amazing and he was a piece of cardboard--though we admire him for his tireless work with Sundance and NRDC. Barbra is too bright to be with just anyone, but I was secretly overjoyed when at 55, she married James Brolin. And enjoyed a resurgence of popularity with Meet the Fockers. It was kind of a no-brainer when my friend asked me to go see her at Madison Square Garden last night.

When she rose onto the stage, I got chills (which later turned out to be a fever), could barely believe that SHE was in front of me--well, far in front of me since I had a nosebleed seat. The Barbra sang and sang, bantered and flirted, reminding me of life-phases when I listened to her songs through my Sony Walkman. Almost forty years after Funny Girl, she's still kind of beautiful. And has perfect nails. She wore slimming long black jackets and skirt, pants and her signature straight blondish hair shimmered. Even her cleavage was resplendent. She glided in stilettos and took them off when she felt like it. In her rehearsed screw-up of a song, she swore in her fun, spontaneous way. The tired Bush-bashing somehow went over, except with the garrulous moron on the end of our row who booed her political talk. Barbra relayed her eating binge earlier that day, which was refreshing given how celebrities seem food-phobic. It was difficult not to be starry-eyed.

Definitely worth catching her tour and if you miss it, there'll be another one.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vanished from Vanished...a haiku

Fox, too hot to die
Why you kill me off the show?
Oh, happy dagger!

Ugly Betty: Part Deux

She's So Lovely

It's refreshing to root for a gawky person, especially in movies like Napoleon Dynamite, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Revenge of the Nerds, Sixteen Candles, Mean Girls. Not only are ugly people an easy-to-love stereotype, they show the world the importance of having a big heart underneath the cellulite and acne scars. Ugly Betty is a welcome break from Hollywood beauty--which the above program shows us as the real ugly. Can't say it's the most amazing show I've ever seen, but loveable characters are rare and America Ferrara is a promising young actress.

What's more fun is to mock beautiful people's attempts to seem ugly in movies. Why not get a "real" ugly person to play an ugly character? Isn't that like having straight actors play gay characters?

Here's a list of pretty people who've pretended to be ugly:

Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada: Sorry, but unless she's vomiting right in front of me, I can't ever see her as unattractive.
Susan Sarandon in The Witches of Eastwick, but then she has sex with Jack Nicholson who removes her glasses and volumizes her hair.
Michelle Pfeiffer in Frankie and Johnny, until she blossoms under Al Pacino sweet, understated love.
Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Then the BMOC asks her to prom and the popular girls invite her into their clique. This forces Drew to wear tight shirts and finally show off her stellar rack.
Rachael Leigh Cook in She's All That. Loveliness concealed behind thick glasses and loose fitting smocks (brilliant artiste)...until she puts on a bikini and Freddie Prinze, Jr. notices her for the beauty she is deep inside.
Cher in Moonstruck: She snaps out of her homeliness when Nick Cage asks her to the opera.
Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face: Seen as a touching piece showing Gibson's artistry but I think he made it to incite people into analyzing the irony of the title, revealing secret narcissism. Alas, now he is The Man Without a Clean Record.
Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces: She courts same hairstyle as Cher in Moonstruck until Jeff Bridges rejects her lusty advance. This makes her get revenge by exercising (and eating a carrot at the same time, which one does on a treadmill), highlighting her hair and dressing like her prostitute character in Nuts.
Charlize Theron in Monster: Okay, so she was kind of uggo.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Friends 4ever! Haiku

We're so friends again
North Korea with a bomb
That's next to France, right?

"Eat" at a bistro
(I'm so much thinner than her)
Photog, check me out

Better than ever
People starving makes me sad
Does my butt look big?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Slugfest -- Haiku

Very hot right now
Please, no news on Iraq, 'kay?
'Coz I'm a actress

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Star Sighting and Random News

In the elevator yesterday, I saw a shivering Molly, Heidi Klum's dog, who resides (temporarily?) nearby. She's sandy-haired, little and has adorable, twinkling brown eyes. Yes, I started shivering, too, since I was in the presence of a celebrity.

I didn't see it coming, but Vince and Jennifer split, according to US Magazine. You know who also split? Me and the 100$ I took out of the bank yesterday. I decided I need a new shirt, Altoids and takeout. But back to the point, how will Jennifer weather the pain of losing another man? How fun for her to be portrayed as the woman men leave.

Tori Spelling is pregnant. Despite the enviable nepotism, I've never disliked her. On Beverly Hills 90210, she kept her virtue for several seasons--maybe waiting until after Brian Austin Green's music career went down the toilet and she felt pity. Her performance in Trick was worthy of praise and her scorned heroines in Lifetime movies kept me occupied on Sundays.

Speaking of nepotism--more subtle this time--William Mapother is Tom Cruise's cousin. He's usually cast as a villain and as the bizzaro Cruise, he's quite effective. While Tom grins, Mapother makes you jerk in discomfort. In the Bedroom has him as the abusive ex-husband who shoots Marisa Tomei's lover. On Lost, he's bad but we don't know how or why or what he is--just that when he appears, you sense a psychotic break. The only sympathetic character I've seen him play was in Without Limits when he was on Billy Crudup's running team.

Speaking of Lost, the third season premiere is going on right now and I have no idea what's happening.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ugly Betty

Salma producing!
Kinda Devil Wears Prada?
Fun in the sun here

Poncho and braces
Hide my fine features--hee hee
Am hot babe with curves

The Death of Saturday Night Live?

Cancellation hasn't happened yet, even with those seriously un-funny years in the early 1990s. Somehow, SNL weathers moments of really bad writing and awkward performances. This season's Tina Fey-less opener, with Dane Cook as the host (who he?), was lukewarm with no real gut-busting antics. Most the of the jokes lingered like a cat fart, including the news report. I wanted to love the premiere and find the "SNL isn't good anymore..." cliche inexcusable (mostly said by those who haven't watched it in twenty years). I've watched SNL since the beginning and I'll admit to preferring some seasons to the ones with the first cast. Of course, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Jane Curtin should be cannonized. But I also like Will Ferrell, Chris Farley, Cheri Oteri, Mike Meyers, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer. John Belushi never made me laugh.

My sadness comes from the fact that I fell asleep during the Killers first song (also zzzzzzzzz). I didn't know who Dane Cook was -- though I vaguely remember his hosting last year -- aside from his being the hilarious and misunderstood hero of Jessica Simpson's new movie Employee of the Year (Office Space with boobs?). Cook is handsome-ish and talkative, like the loquacious entertaining guy who holds court and finally notices you at last call. This lack of Cook awareness is my own defect, though I couldn't help but feel a tabloidesque appearance by Simpson would have helped. Or maybe she did show up between the first and second Killers song (which is when I woke up).

I believe in SNL's staying power but if things don't improve, I might have to switch to Will & Grace for the guzillionth rerun at 11:30.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Party Breakfast

I respect that Macauley Culkin did a "gay" movie before Brokeback Mountain--and one can already see the copycats on the horizon--but my Excellent Gay Character award goes to Cillian Murphy whose "Kitten" in Breakfast on Pluto is dreamy, literate and lacking in "you go girlfriend" predictability. I saw both within twenty-four hours. Okay, so I only saw five minutes of Party Monster before I got the feeling McC and Seth Green (both of whom I like) had been practicing their "gay" for weeks from watching Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding and Will & Grace--not that there's anything wrong with that. Kitten wasn't so acty or gay-next-door. Yes, he wore lipstick and took an early shine to minidresses, but his character was unlike any I'd seen before. Plus, he was gorgeous as a woman and so vulnerable--very pre-collagen Emanuelle Beart from Manon des Sources.

Cillian's effortless seduction of Gavin Friday and Stephen Rea is a mystery. Bottom line, I kind of wanted Cillian Murphy to *be* a woman, like that one time Hal Sparks appeared in drag in Queer As Folk. Enough to give a girl a little girl crush.