Yesterday we talked about movie themes that crop up depending upon where we are in the course of a century (happy, sad, at war, joyous, triumphant, questioning, depressed, etc). So today I thought we’d go back and talk about some good old-fashioned star-studded stuff. The usual distractions we can count on entertainment for, each and every day.
Only I looked, and couldn’t find too many of them.
In fact, a cursory check to the top headlines revealed only a sampling of the most miserable, not-fun, legally tenuous, embarrassing and downwardly-spiraling stuff imaginable. If it’s not the huge meltdowns, it’s the rehab (which is always connected to the meltdowns), and the lawsuits, and the bitter fights, and the firings and more lawsuits and I finished scouring and thought: is life really this bad? The answer is of course no, it isn’t. But do we care about anything besides what’s going wrong? In our personal lives, sure we do. But when it comes to Hollywood, we are pretty much hooked by the bad stuff, and the worse the better. Seems the best pick-me-ups have become genuine downers.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m just as sucked in by headlines covering the gritty paternity suit filed under dubious circumstances involving South American cartels, cross-dressing public officials, deadly clowns, counterfeit travelers’ cheques, and down-on-their-luck Kung Fu film stars as the next girl — but just for kicks, I decided to ID a few upbeat things happening in Tinseltown. Well, thank heaven for little girls and boys. For instance, there are lots of babies headed our way as we speak. English director Guy Ritchie (the former Mr. Madonna) is expecting his third child. So there’s something. In Hollywood, Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon are about to give birth, and they’ve just had a massive baby shower (the fact that it was billed as an “adults-only baby shower” is something I find vaguely icky, but that’s okay). Actress Mary Stuart Masterson (if you’ve never seen Some Kind of Wonderful, run — don’t walk — over to your TV set and Tivo it) and hub Jeremy Davidson are expecting twins. Meanwhile True Blood hunk Sam Trammell and longtime girlfriend Missy Yager are also happily awaiting double bundles of joy. Kate Hudson and her beau, the cute guy from the band Muse are also in the family way. See? There is some good news to do with the entertainment set. And finally, here’s something I found initially startling but ultimately delightful – let me know if you think so too – Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has just signed a record deal reportedly valued at $900,000. How’s that for forward momentum? I think she’s worth it. In fact, I have always been a fan and not everyone can pull off the old actor and singer bit. It wasn’t a great fit for David Hasselhoff (in the United States, at least) or William Shatner. David Soul had one good song, and I’ve never even heard Steven Seagal open his mouth, in front of a mic or a camera. Still I feel Gwyneth’s paid her dues in a big way and has been a) trained and b) put to the test. So what if nobody saw Duets; she did her time and starred and sang on Glee (you try keeping up with those kids) and you know what? I think she pulled it off. Her singing was good enough in Country Strong to be nominated for an Oscar and she was considered a legitimate contender. The Grammys thing with Cee Lo was just fine – and kind of delicious even, if you ask me. So why shouldn’t she have a record deal? By getting onstage with several Muppets and Cee Lo in feathers she showed the world that she can take it – but not necessarily take it seriously – and what better approach is there than that? Bottom line, the thing may not sell particularly well, but I commend her for handling this rather professionally and above all, with what looks like a sense of humor. I say bravo Gwyneth. And bravo to all those expectant parents, too. Now let’s see what you all think about a few others who have done the crossover thing.
1) Gwyneth Paltrow
2) Queen Latifah
3) Robert Downey, Jr.
4) Will Smith