May 23, 2000
As I recently attested to last week, Europe is simply the place to be for U.S. citizens this year. Why, the exchange rate for the dollar is so good, it's easier than ever to look like a tacky American! Things seems to be hopping everywhere but Cannes, however, where this year's Film Festival was reportedly as fun as Russell Crowe in clown make-up. With a limited number of star vehicles premiering there -- and almost no star wattage actually competing -- celebrity gawkers and paparazzi had to content themselves with 'N Sync (announcing they're making a film, God help us all), occasional Uma Thurman sightings, and run-ins with that ol' Cannes standby, Catherine Deneuve. (You couldn't walk down a cobblestone street there without tripping over her. What is she, the mascot?) My sources say the only real excitement was in the debut of Deneuve's new film, "Dancer In The Dark," directed by Lars Von Trier and costarring, of all things, Icelandic pop weirdo Bjork! In fact, "Dark" won the Golden Palm, and Bjork took home best actress, despite claims from her director that she isn't much of an actress at all. Since it now appears that professional actors no longer make films, perhaps Bjork can costar in the 'N Sync movie as Lance Bass' "wacky" love interest. Now there's a Golden Palm!
Of course, if you could pull yourself away from the requisite topless women, there was one minor scandal along the Croisette, as George Clooney hit the bar scene with a vengeance, noticeably still wounded from his breakup with actress Celine Balitran. That also means that, baby, George is back on the market! He toasted himself at the Hotel du Cap and proclaimed jokingly (?), "I am an alcoholic. This is the second day of alcoholism. I am going to stay out all night." (That quote's from the Daily News; my spy, meanwhile, couldn't get that close for all the swoony women crowding in.) He also made a rather sad product endorsement by exclaiming, "You've got to keep it simple: Stoli, Stoli, Stoli." Let's hope that Georgie pulls himself together in time for his "Perfect Storm" press junkets. There's nothing more sad than a former star of "The Facts Of Life" turning to the bottle!
It's spring, which means it's time to head off to the Hahm-tons, er, the Hamptons. If you're a celebrity, and commingling in a city with unfamous people in the blistering sun is simply not your cup o' joe, then head to the lap of upper-crust luxury, the Orlando of wealth. Joining Puff Daddy, Martha Stewart, Christie Brinkley and other world-weary megastars out in lush land this summer will be roommates Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire (thus resparking those tawdry rumors I used to hear a few years ago), playing house with a bunch of models. (Hate to raid that fridge at midnight: bottled water and celery sticks for days!) And down the street -- figuratively, at least -- will be that surprising new social climber, Jerry Seinfield, who, with his pregnant young wife Jessica, has recently moved into Billy Joel's old house. Won't be inviting Christie over anytime, will we Jer? He's even been trying out the treadmills at the East Hampton Gym, the only gym in the entire world where nobody sweats. Simply marvie! Darling, maybe he'll even be at the totally exCLUsive "Shortcuts" book party next Saturday, dishing it with Adrienne Vittadini, Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Farkas and about a billion other people that neither you nor I care about in the slightest! Kiss kiss, wrap me in pashmina, doll, and throw me away!
My Boyfriend Married A Monster!
Ahem, back in the real world, the one where psychotic actress freaks can marry backwoods auteurs in Vegas, more dish has been unearthed about that certifiably kooky union between fish-faced Oscar-stealer Scandalina Jolie and her misguided new hubby, Billy Bob Thornton. Seems the grip of love held these two quirky celebs so completely that Billy Bob accidentally forgot to break up with his girlfriend of three years, Laura Dern! D'oh! It was revealed by the Daily News that Billy called Laura just a few days before his impromptu hitching, reassuring his hysterical girlfriend that he was simply "doing his thing" with his "All The Pretty Horses" costars and had no intention of doing anything with Angie. Oops! Naturally, Laura moved right out of their Hollywood Hills villa upon hearing the news and is holed up in Chicago, where she's filming a movie with Steve Martin.
Sounds to me like Angie gets what she wants, and Billy Bob, no sling blade he, has no perceivable backbone whatsoever. Laura, write Breakup Girl ASAP! She is uniquely trained for situations such as these. This kind of stuff happens among we normal folk almost every day!
Hottie Of The Month
Nobody is more hot and more horribly named than Jack Noseworthy, the former "Dead At 21" star and sexy, withering lad from such flicks as "U-571" and "Event Horizon." One spy recently reported seeing the dashing actor dash by on a bike on the Upper West Side, newly blonde and windblown. Now comes word that he's not just in town to look gorgeous and blow people away with that nitroglycerine smile; he's planning on jumping to the stage next month to take the lead in "Pippin." And in New Jersey for Christ's sake! Gee, Jack, working through some issues, are you? And what's more, he'll be costarring with none other than Charlotte Rae, who, like George Clooney, is also a former star of "The Facts Of Life." Could "Facts" really be linking the world in a glittery daisy chain of celebrity and international goodwill? Mindy Cohn, where are you?
Regarding my London comments in last week's column ...
John, obviously I had urine on the brain while penning last week's column! Of course Andres is the creator of that "masterpiece." Hirst, however, had pieces at his restaurant Pharmacy that less Christ-like patrons could pee on.
Sebastian looks more like a soap opera star than a fisherman-turned-bestselling author; in fact, I swear up and down that I saw him accept a Daytime Emmy last week! No news, sweetie, but for less personal info on the hottie, why don't you visit his Web site? I'm willing to bet that he, too, has a "Facts Of Life" connection. Maybe he's currently seeing Kim Fields?
--Britney Spears, on top of the world last week after the debut of her latest album "Oops, I Made A Bad Album Again," celebrated on Tuesday at a ka-ka-karazy soiree at Spa. Basking in her orange-tanned glory were David Charvet (that's right, from "Baywatch") and Kylie Bax. Hmmm, is Britney old enough to be in a bar, I wonder?
--Speaking of teen catastrophes, James Van Der Beek was working his own version of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" on karaoke night at Moomba. Hearing this, of course, led me to scream aloud, "Moomba has a karaoke night?! What's happened to the New York nightlife!"
--Gwyneth Paltrow, sporting a broken toe from "stubbing it on some furniture" (there's a story there, I'm sure), limping though the launch party for new Conde Nast magazine Lucky. And speaking of our wounded little bird ...
Celebs In Focus - Gwyn and Ben
Every so often, I like to dim the glow of the spotlight for a bit and seriously analyze the social interworkings of a fabulous star. Now, you may be wondering why I'd choose Gwyneth Paltrow -- one of the most boring white women in the entire world -- for such scrutiny, but I've discovered that Blythe and Bruce's daughter has, in fact, concocted a marvelously elaborate plot over the past year that has gone virtually unrecognized.
Flash back to December 1998. Every gossip page of every magazine and newspaper was streaked with the smiles of Gwyn and her boytoy at the time, Ben Affleck. Their every move was caught on film, their every utterance carved into stone bibles and promptly misquoted. When the two broke up in January of '99, a myriad of theories blossomed, and they were inundated with even more press attacks. So prevalent in American culture was their bust-up that they were forced to deliver a playful and uncomfortable send-up of the whole mess on a now-unclassic Saturday Night Life episode.
Flash ahead to April 2000. Gwyn and Ben, with Matt Damon naturally in tow, flee a function at Harvard University, the couple closer and more snug than ever. Without so much as ruffling the gossip columns, the genetically-bred couple are back together again, hotter than ever. How did this happen almost without notice?
I maintain that the entire thing was plotted by the duo from the very beginning, in order to retain their privacy and to steer the gossipmongers away from their personal bizness. That's right, a multiple-gunmen-style conspiracy! After the initial "breakup" -- probably only a "let's spend a little time apart" ruse and not a serious rift -- the following steps were taken:
1) Gwyneth, no real pearl of exotica, became more boring than ever before by making a movie in Canada (yawn!), supposedly linking up with "Felicity" star Scott Speedman (double yawn!), and chumming it with Madonna, who's such a press vacuum that all attentions conceivably meant for Paltrow were sucked away into the Madonna vortex.
2) Ben, his star stature newly heightened by his appearance in "Armageddon" and a legion of bicep-exposing magazine spreads, returns to his independent roots, doing press for "Dogma" (where the controversy was planted solely on the film's topic, not its actors) and making quiet pieces like "The Boiler Room." He did return to action in "Reindeer Games," but that film was assured to fail thanks to all those disgusting rumors about him and costar Charlize Theron "playfully" filming in the nude, rumors that no one, not even Charlize's agents could have believed.
3) Gwyn and Ben begin to patch up their relationship, but they need a distraction. Soooo, they call their friend Matt, who's suffering through a relationship with Winona Ryder. I believe that Ben, Matt's real love, asked him to breakup with Winnie in a gross, messy way, in order to draw all the headlines away from the duo. And it worked. The reason there are so many stories about Winnie and Matt's breakup is because they are all made up, perhaps even concocted by the quartet over a lovely dinner!
4) Finally, Gwyn and Ben renew their relationship but, wisely, have stayed the hell out of New York.
Granted, this is all mere speculation, and the real story might be much less interesting. But I like to give these kids the benefit of the glamorous doubt! Play and toy with me as much as you'd like, Gwyndolyn. I'm yours!
Until Christina Aguilera's triumphant acceptance speech for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival,
Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb