The newly-wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will & Kate to the rest of us) are about to arrive in the United States for a whirlwind tour of – you guessed it – Hollywood. Have you been following their exploits traversing Canada (seen as sort of a training-wheels destination for their stateside sojourn). Several articles I read about the royals’ US jaunt were filled with helpful suggestions about what they should wear. You know, in order to look “like players in Tinseltown”. Because I’m sure “fitting in” is a genuine passion for both of them, right? No doubt that the future King of England is still under the impression that he’s “one of the guys” and that if he just leaves his razor in England and dons the right duds, he’ll look like everyone else. Not surprisingly one of the articles included a host of scruffy, torn items for the Duke – because nowadays the hippest way to go in Beverly Hills is “downtrodden chic”. Meanwhile the several wardrobe pieces for the Duchess appeared to be fashioned from linguini and could not modestly shroud a coat rack in a really dark room. Fortunately for all nations involved, this pair needs no help from us when it comes to looking presentable.
Technically, they’re coming to Los Angeles because of several events to do with their charitable endeavors and the British Film Academy. They’ll be mingling at lots of shindigs where up-and-coming British talent will be presented. As a fan of the Royal Family whose easily sucked in by pictorials describing their various appearances, I just wonder:
What exactly do they think they’ll see when they get to Los Angeles? If you agree that entertainment is something this country creates and exports beautifully, they’ll probably get what they came for. But will they be impressed — or flummoxed?
When you hear the term “Hollywood” what’s the first image that forms in your mind? Red carpet movie premieres featuring young starlets who were discovered behind the counter at Johnny Rockets? Movies, movies everywhere: casting and filming and finally opening …(which brings us right back to the red carpet premieres part) right? To a certain extent that’s true, the whole town spends most of its time primping, posing, and ultimately looking over its shoulder to see who caught what. There are indeed actors everywhere, only the majority of them make a wage doing everything but, from the time-honored cater-waiter jobs to the occupation which is now de rigueur for many thespians in the City of Angels: massage therapist. Meanwhile, there are also writers aplenty; you don’t go far without meeting someone who’d be more than delighted to tell you about a new screenplay he or she’s shopping around. When I first moved to LA I was astonished to meet thirty successful screenwriters in less than two weeks. I know now of course that I’d simply encountered four journalists eager to get into TV, two writer’s assistants and twenty-four people who owned working laptops. Clearly Los Angeles is a town obsessed with youth and its preservation (by any dermatological means necessary) and now, thanks to reality TV, every random Joe who dreams it really can be it – if only for a fragmentary and usually ridiculed moment. See, someone early on figured out that our obsession with the bizarre, the outrageous, and the truly shameless can actually be super-lucrative. Which explains why Charlie Sheen is soon to be roasted on Comedy Central. His own “Concert Tour” was a big bust – ultimately no one wanted to hear Sheen himself spout off (or at least pay for it when everyone gets his Tweets for free). However, someone else in Hollywood clearly figured that the best way to exploit his monstrousness is to get advertisers to pay for an evening where other people ridicule him. It’s a very smart idea; I’d call it genius if I cared one way or the other about Charlie Sheen. What is ultra inspired, however, is the fact that they are airing Charlie’s Comedy Central Roast on the same day (September 19th) that the brand new Sheen-free Kutcher-fortified Two and A Half Men premieres. Now that’s Hollywood. Wonder what the Royals think about that kind of American showdown.
1) The Kardashians
2) Charlie Sheen
3) The Teen Moms
4) Glenn Beck