Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We cannot be bothered

Excerpts from a Google chat:

Seren: How much do I not care about the birth of Shiloh Jolie? I can't even be bothered to read an entire article on it. Those people BORE me.

MeiMei: Ditto, ugh.

And that's why I'm not even going to bother to link to anything here. Yawn.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Surreal smackdown

Does this, or does this not, sound like some crazy-ass dream you'd have after passing out in front of the TV after an evening of drinking dirty martinis and watching a marathon of E! "news" specials? (Not that anyone here has ever done that.)

Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer, wails on Axl Rose for moving his girlfriend's drink at Rosario Dawson's birthday party.

My points are:

One: Somebody put the Hollywood social setting on "blend" that night. The "celebrity crowd" included "Lenny Kravitz, Mickey Rourke, Kid Rock, Peter Beard, Molly Simms, Wentworth Miller, Ann Dexter Jones, Lydia Hearst and Damon Dash." Like, who knew that these people even knew each other? Though I guess that's my first mistake: I invite only people I know to my parties.

Two: Circa "Welcome to the Jungle," would anyone have been willing to throw down with Axl? Oh, what two decades of plastic surgery and isolation have wrought!

Three: Tommy Hilfiger? I don't think I read that right. Tommy Hilfiger? Patrician, sporty, geriatric Tommy Hilfiger? Before this, I thought that dude could take you in a sailing competition or something involving, you know, pleats, but now? When I saw that story on E! about how rappers had adopted Tommy Hilfiger, I thought they were talking about his clothing line. How wrong I was.

Four: In a "celebrity crowd" including Mickey Rourke and Kid Rock, these are the people who end up brawling?

Five: I've said it before; I'll say it again: Who the heck is Rosario Dawson? No, I mean, really? I know she's "Rosario Dawson," the name actress who's supposedly going to sell us all on Clerks II. But I can't think of a single distinguishing performance that would warrant her level of name recognition. Let me put it this way: Who is this woman, and what has she done to deserve Wentworth Miller at her birthday party?!?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Slow news day in Virginia, folks

Look, I get that we all love Steve Carrell and everything, but do we really need a news bulletin that he sprained his ankle on the set of Evan Almighty?

I'm not sure how to react to this, to be honest. Am I supposed to reflect on what a wasteland my life was before I knew this news or am I to recognize what a wasteland it is now that the comic genius has been (temporarily and not really all that much) felled? Is this injury, inflicted when he stepped out of a Hummer during a scene, supposed to stand as a larger metaphor for U.S. arrogance or Hollywood's?

I'm so confused.

On the other hand, this article gives us the opportunity to cheer: Lauren Graham! In a movie with Steve Carrell! Happy day!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Skinny is as skinny does

Apparently, Nicole Richie's diet of greasy burgers and fries isn't cutting it. She's still losing weight. Her doctors have ruled out eating disorders and think it's stress related. I almost started to make the usual M&C conclusion that Nicole tops off her burgers with a little smackty-smack and washes those fries down with cosmos, but strangely, I can relate to Nicole's story.

I've always been underweight. Not so much now thanks to old age and a more sedate lifestyle along with the discovery of Soho Cupcakes, but throughout grade school, high school and college I was drastically underweight. We're talking concave abdomen, twig arms with incredibly sharp elbows and pretty much no curves to speak of. But I ate like a pig. Constantly snacking. I couldn't gain weight if my life depended on it. I even drank those protein shakes in addition to three full meals a day. Nothing worked...thanks to my tapeworm.

As a kid from rural Pennsylvania, it may seem odd that I would have one. I didn't have hordes of paparazzi following me or movie offers or modeling contracts, so there really wasn't a reason to maintain my skeletal frame. All the cool kids were robust girls with heaving bosoms and luscious asses, so being skinny was so not cool. I'm not even sure how I got the tapeworm, only that it prevented me from giving blood every year to the National Honor Society's blood drive (the irony being that I ran the event one year did not go by un-noticed).

I did tell someone about my tapeworm long after it got flushed out and I had graduated from college and finally hit the triple digit weight zone (thank you, grad school and pumpkin squares! Oh, and corn fries!) So maybe word spread...

You know what this means, don't you? Nicole has a tapeworm. No drugs or alcohol or binge and purging for her! You heard it here first, folks. A Mean and Catty exclusive. Nicole Richie can't gain weight and it's all because she can't get rid of her damn tapeworm.

Believe it or not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Group cry?

So, I had hoped that this morning we could all get together and have a lively chat about last night's Gilmore Girls finale, about how blithe and witty and charming it was, how it brightened our -- oh, nevermind.

Where Grey's Anatomy felt like a good healthy cry on Sunday, the little gulping sobs I found myself choking back last night were not cathartic in the least. I'm so glad that I'll be able to sit and savor this feeling of despair for a good three to four months before next season's premiere.

Here's the things you feel about a cliffhanger: Excitement. Anticipation. The uncanny and unreasonable belief that it's all going to work out.

This was not a cliffhanger. This was something of a scorched earth policy.

Seriously, I ask you: To whom did Amy Sherman-Palladino not give the finger last night?

I imagine her thinking went a little like this:

Luke-shippers? Thanks for waiting more than five seasons for him to take off the freakin' baseball cap. What do I, Amy S-P, have for you? The finger.

Christopher-shippers? Way to back the dark horse all this time. For you? The finger.

David Rosenberg? You want my show? Fix this, motherf'er!

And to all you who said, More of the town troubador? I give you town troubador the way avians give you the flu. And you'll like it. Oh, yes, you will.

I (Seren talking now) am all about the unfounded aggression, people, and maybe this aggression was founded. But OUCH.

Yes, I liked Miss Patty, as always. Yes, I liked the song about the thumb loss. Yes, I thought the episode was well-crafted, and very good with the dramatic arc, and how often have I said that this season?

BUT, but now I have OUCH pencilled in for the next four months.

Thanks, ASP and DP! Thanks for the memories!

(My disclaimer on this critique is that I was not in a bouncy mood before watching the show, and I am not in a bouncy mood now. If someone else found the episode to be all that they wanted and more, please do reason with me, because I could use some cheering up.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ah, so that's where Tom put his credibility

Apparently, Nicole got it in the divorce.

Yes, even when she says things like:

He was huge; still is. To me, he was just Tom, but to everybody else, he is huge. But he was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him.

I believe her, and somehow still believe her to be intelligent and sane, if a little too trusting.

Or I could just be having a Moulin Rouge flashback. I have trouble being mean to the tubercular.

Awww! Is it Christmas already?

Mission Impossible: III tries to dominate the box office -- and doesn't.

Thank you, America! And I didn't even get you anything.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Maybe the typecasting wouldn't hurt if the type were the right one, as in "superstah"

I loved Grey's Anatomy last night, just like the rest of you. I bawled my eyes out. (Man, I hate it when characters developed with Beverly Hillbillies subtlety bite the dust.) My heart, too, was made softer and more pudding-like during the course of the most awesome veterinarian evah's speech about being scary and damaged.

However. What is up with the typecasting? No, I don't mean the guy who played Big Jim (though seriously when has he ever not played a marshmallow coated with a scary crust?).

No. I mean, John Cho.

I mean: You have one guest spot on House M.D. and suddenly you can only play patients? Albeit, this time, a patient who moonlights as a surgeon, as opposed to his previous role as a patient who moonlighted as the receiving end of a dominatrix's attentions. Is it because he lies in bed well? Because he does. I think it has something to do with the longer hair and how awesome his jaw looks when sprinkled with stubble. He has that early Harrison Ford quality of making scrapes and bruises look hot. And did he or did he not apologize and break down into tears all over Big Jim's messy paw like the best of them? He did.

But I find myself asking: Why couldn't he play the most awesome veterinarian evah? What does Chris O'Donnell have that John Cho doesn't?

They both do cute. They both do sincere. Admittedly, to my knowledge, John doesn't have the wife and four young children to support, but other than that, what is up?

Is it because John Cho isn't a "household name" like Chris O'Donnell?

Firstly, John Cho is a name around my household. Around my household, his name is said with a little squeal of joy, as in "Omigod, is that John Cho on the stretcher? That neck brace is so his color."

Secondly, Chris O'Donnell may also be a name around my household, but it's a name you don't want to have, because then your name is affiliated with such things as Scent of a Woman and the death by Schumacher that the Batman series suffered so lingeringly. Your name is associated with that bad movie I never bothered to see where he's being chased around San Francisco by hundreds of women in wedding dresses. Way to ruin both the city I love and weddings for me in a single preview, Hollywood.

Is this about the GA mission of rehabilitating boyish heartthrobs from earlier decades? Now that Patrick Dempsey has been rescued from that brief tenure of B-movie stardom in the 80s, you're moving on to rescuees from the 90s? But isn't it a little early, by those standards? Couldn't the redemption of Chris O'Donnell wait a decade more? At that point, the scruffy look he's currently sporting may have become a little too mountain man (Rule #1 of boyish heartthrob reclamation: Scruff. Up.), but still, I'm sure the audience would be even happier to see him after the sting of his earlier "accomplishments" is less sharp.

Meanwhile, John Cho moves on to the next medical drama. And not that he wouldn't bring shades of feeling to his portrayal of an ER patient who moonlights as a police detective (I'm trying to broaden his scope so he can maybe jump to a CSI), but seriously, could we stop forcing John Cho to moonlight as anything? My household may not be Nielsen, but in my household, that boy's more like a star.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

An attempt at balance

The California Assembly strikes a blow against Tom Cruise crazy. Amateur sonograms are half-way to being illegal, now.

Go, Assembly! Can we talk about retroactive criminal penalties next?

Also, should I be troubled that my state politicians are paying more attention to TomKat's antics than to, say, the plight of the homeless in the state? Or should I just be tickled that a wrong (deeply, deeply wrong) has made a right?

I would feel so much better about certain celebrity religions if one of the steps in their programs (right after forking over your entire fortune and right before accepting E.T. as your personal savior) involved agitating for economic justice. So much better.

Can't wait for the People spread on this one! Oh, wait, I can.

Tori Spelling got married this weekend with much less fanfare the second time around.

Typically, the only thing that would interest me in this story is: What was Mimi Larue wearing?

However, comments made by the groom du jour, Dean McDermott, about his no-really-I-think-she-should-be-blushing bride have made me thoughtful.

I’ve never had as much of a desire to get married and make a woman my wife as I’ve had with her. The feeling is overwhelming. We’re soul mates.

Firstly: Wow. I bet that sure makes his first wife feel special. (Hers is gonna be one kick-ass tell-all.)

Secondly: Is the VH-1 Laundromat for Slightly Soiled Celebrities so powerful that my watching one episode of so noTORIous has me actually worrying about Tori? Narrative is powerful, people, and the story of Ms. Spelling as hapless and well-meaning almost has me wanting to pull her out of the way of that oncoming car and say:

Honey, you might want to think about what that man means when he says "make a woman my wife," because clearly it means "take advantage of her minor national celebrity status, performing all the requisite celebrity activities -- e.g., adopting Third World children with her -- until such time as someone younger and richer, with both a higher tabloid profile and greater leverage with the Lifetime Network, comes along, at which point he will leave her scrambling for her last shred of dignity as a Page Six item while he issues press releases about how this time he really feels it."

On the other hand, Dean? Maybe you should be asking yourself something similar about your new wife. (Somewhere, bitterly, possibly into a half-empty Scotch, Charlie Shanian says, Word.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Attitude in the least likely places

The movie critics over at The New York Times are all about the attitude today, God love 'em.

First, Manohla Dargis utterly nails what's really at stake in Mission Impossible: III: Tom's vanity.

It would be a stretch to say that Tom Cruise needs a hit. What this guy needs is an intervention. . . [Y]ou have to wonder if the real mission in his newest film isn't the search for the damsel in distress or the hunt for the supervillain, but the resurrection of a screen attraction who has, of late, seemed a bit of a freak.

Word, Manohla.

The cost of attempting to rehabilitate a movie star gone amuck, Dargis writes, is that the movie:

[T]urns a perfectly good franchise into a seriously strange vanity project, as the simpering brunette is swept into a new world by a dashing operative for a clandestine organization.

Sing it, sister; sing it.

And then, Nathan Lee brings the sarcasm in his review of An American Haunting:

It is possible, given his hairdo, makeup and costuming, that Mr. Sutherland simply wandered over on his lunch break from Pride and Prejudice and was tricked into the role of John Bell Sr., patriarch of a beleaguered clan of 19th-century Tennesseans.

In case you couldn't glean from that excerpt: Hates it. So much so that in the usually sober part of the review, where you find warnings of the juicy stuff (sex, violence, cussing), there's also this:

Extremely loud sound effects try their best to spook you.

Awe and also some.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A brush with disaster

Tom Cruise was across the street yesterday at Regis and Kelly and I didn't know it.

How could I not know? There I was, working blissfully in my office, without a care beyond script deadlines. I even had the window open. How could I miss the walking freak show carousing outside on the street? Oh sure, I see the Wayans Brothers. I even look up long enough to wave to them. But Tom Cruise I miss. I know you're thinking, "Uh, hel-LO, MeiMei! Didn't you feel the earth shudder in horror? Or see the street buckle in agony? Or watch all the cute little Upper Westside dogs in their Burberry jackets curl into fetal positions as Tom passed by?"

Well, most of NYC didn't miss it, considering Tom closed down the D line as one of his "hop scotch" modes of transportation to all of M:I:3's movie premieres. He probably closed a whole lot of other things, too, seeing as he caught rides on a helicopter, fire truck, etc.

The only explanation I can give for missing Tom Cruise is David Blaine's life as a goldfish I did get out of the office long enough to go with a few co-workers yesterday afternoon to gawk. Did you know he's getting one million dollars to sit in a tank and look like a jack ass? The top of the aquarium is open. I had the incredible urge to go sprinkle fish food.

So, yeah, yesterday was an exciting day on the Upper Westside. And I bet you thought all the freaks were in lower Manhattan.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why that LA hospital is the new Hellmouth

Brooke Shields understands the vital role her daughter will play in the battle between good and evil

Here at M&C, Inc., we have lots of code words. Our newest is: good day = Grier. Bad day = Suri. The image of the two babies, born at opposite ends of the hospital, somehow meeting in the middle of the corridor...incubators clashing...the fate of the world in their chubby pink hands...
is a hard image to shake, no?

My bet's on Grier since her mom isn't a dwarf, hasn't damaged Oprah's couch, lets her husband speak and looks good in Calvin's.

Damnit! Have we lost another one?

I'd read reports recently about one of my perennial favorites, Janeane Garofalo, acting bizarrely on the streets of New York, looking strangely thin and blonde. And I admit I was worried. From interviews, I knew that she was vulnerable to the pressures of Hollywood, the imperative to mold your body and spirit to a stunted, repetitive ideal that involves a lot of hair bleach, exposed collarbone, and minimal lipping off. I thought, Janeane, do I really have to watch you become Brittney Murphy?

I wanted to take her aside and say, Janeane, darling, have I told you lately that The Matchmaker is one of my favorite movies evah, seriously, evah? No, really, I just made Tea watch it with me a couple of months ago. And that you are one of two reasons (Steve Zahn, you know you're the other) that I will sit through even ten minutes of Reality Bites, gritting my teeth and biting my tongue on all the instinctive Winona-hate I have to endure to do so? Have I told you that there are so many of us out there who love you with your dark hair and your short bangs and your normal weight and your barbed and charming wit?

Clearly this is a conversation I should have had with her. And now it may be too late.

Janeane Garofalo has been -- sob! -- heard praising a Scientology project, in chorus with -- no, no, no! -- Leah Rimini. Next up: Janeane will be seen holding hands with Kelly Preston.

This is what comes of focusing too much on the lost cause that is Katie Holmes. They distract us with that puppet show and steal our loved ones right out from under our noses. Pirates! Brigands! Thieves!

Today's forecast? Up from partially plagiarized to morning showers of new accusations

Additional passages of Opal Mehta appear to come from another chick lit work, "Can You Keep a Secret?" by Sophie Kinsella.

Can you? Apparently, the answer is no.

And this just in from M&C correspondent, Tea: a take on the author's life that proves that her original story (the one she pitched, and the one about her life) would have made a far better book in the first place. Follow the link, kids. Her mother's plans for her book party involved a red carpet strewn with rose petals. (I'm forwarding this immediately to my mother. She's going to need to plan ahead.)

And yet another update from Tea: Passages from a third author, this time from Meg Cabot and her "Princess Diaries" has been matched to Opal Mehta. And the New Jersey newspaper that Kaavya interned for is currently reviewing all the stories she wrote while she was with them. The editor of The Record is quoted as saying:

To us she was a bright young kid that seemed to have the makings of a good writer. There were no alarms; nobody had ever questioned any of her stories. We have no reason to believe there's anything wrong with her copy. But in light of what's going on, we thought we should check her stuff out.