And more from our Gossip Girl: Anne Sinclair, France’s deluxe Tammy Wynette … Lady Gaga — was she really “Born This Way?” … “Cleopatra” revival enlivens Lincoln Center
“WISE MARRIED women don’t trouble themselves about infidelity in their husbands,” said Samuel Johnson.
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WISE? I suppose that depends on the woman and the circumstances. Certainly the wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn — TV journalist Anne Sinclair — considered herself wise in the matter of her disgraced spouse. She has stated publicly that she felt her husband’s infidelities a “compliment” because he always returns to her.
She has also put up his multi-million dollar bail (she’s an heiress) and intends to use further millions to defend him against the charge that he brutally raped a hotel chambermaid in New York City. Mrs. Strauss-Kahn is an extremely attractive woman, but perhaps it was not her wisdom, her patience or even her good looks that kept Dominique coming back. Maybe it was those millions —money that he needs more than ever. (For sure, Anne was planning to help finance his campaign to become president of France.)
After the fuss and furor of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver dies down — it is already beginning to cool — the Dominique mess will be ongoing. Will Anne Sinclair come to realize that she has never really received a compliment from her husband? Or — poor thing — that she has received her last one?
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SO, HOW does a mass of trendy New Yorkers dress for a special screening of a movie titled “The Hangover II”? They don’t. Oh, the deadly humidity the other night didn’t stop the ladies from getting themselves up in spiffy next-to-nothing bits of fabric, and towering high-heels, but most of the guys seemed to be taking the title of the film to heart jeans, sloppy shirts, no ties. There were exceptions, such as one the film’s stars, Bradley his-eyes-are-really-that-blue-Cooper in a beautiful blue suit. And Food TV Network hottie Bobby Flay in a shiny gray number. (Flay was accompanied by his beautiful actress wife Stephanie March, and looks like he has been hitting the gym lately.) Otherwise, most of those who attended the screening way downtown on Houston street, and later at the spectacular Standard Hotel on West 13th Street, were super casual. (The entire was night was sponsored by The Cinema Society and Bing.)
The Standard was packed — too packed for my taste, and the tiny offerings of lobster roll and the occasional mini-burger were sporadic. However, the young ladies offering these little tastes and various cocktails wore adorable super-short white dresses that stopped many a man in his tracks.
Among the mass — the movie’s director Todd Phillips, and three of his stars — Mr. Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms. Along with Patrick Wilson … James Van der Beek … Jason Wu … Dermot Mulroney (hotter with graying hair) … Crispin Glover … Calvin Klein … Olivia Wilde … Sandy Gallin … Ben Shenkman, etc. The sight of the night was TV star Zach Braff, squiring towering blonde British model Taylor Bagley. He looked very happy. Or as one observer remarked, “Zach’s penis is very happy tonight.”
Oh, the movie? Come on. You’ve seen the first one — a bachelor party goes violently awry. Like the “Sex and the City” movie sequel, “Hangover II” seeks to pique interest with exotic locations — here it is Bangkok, which does indeed look splendid. It’s vulgar and low-down. Comedy for zombies (zombies have to be shot in the head before they can die.) It’s repetitive, not quite as amusing as the first. But if nothing else there is the eye candy of Bradley Cooper, getting grungier by the minute as he’s beaten up … shot … thrown from cars … but looking even better for it.
Nobody expects Noel Coward here. The audience seemed to love what it saw. I won’t be a spoiler, but two events in the film did disturb me — they went beyond mere bad taste. And when I brought the incidents up, most people agreed with me. Todd Phillips, give us a call.
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LADY GAGA’S new album, “Born This Way” was released on Monday. By today, the top celebrity earner (according to Forbes) should have sold a gazillion records. Or at least enough to still put some faith in the music industry, so wildly undercut by iTunes, digital piracy, etc.
Gaga, wearing nine-inch high shoes, appeared on ABC’s hit “The View” Monday morning. She was charming and sweet. She morphed into what viewers of “The View” would most identify with (she was bullied in high school, she said, although some who recall her, say she was actually popular. Well, all legends gild the lily.) It was a very different vibe than she gave out in her interview with Toure for The Fuse network, where she was all business and talked a lot about her “art.” (Even Toure, a music veteran, couldn’t help looking slightly bemused as Gaga explained herself. And her hats.)
Gaga is talented. She sure can sing and play piano! But her needy, constant crying out for (and to) her fans remains disturbing — or else a very smart ploy. The ladies of “The View” — all of whom seemed quite taken with the 24-year-old icon — showed a clip of Gaga backstage, from her concert special. Elaborately removing her makeup in front of a mirror (we’ve seen this in countless movies) Gaga tearfully expresses her insecurity, her dedication to her “little monsters” and declares “I have to tell myself every day that I am a superstar, or I don’t think I can go on!”
Honey, you have got to go on, because this level of fame and attention never lasts. The fans grow up, the media begs for tales of decline. Up down, up down. Now that you are Gaga, you will always be Gaga. But you won’t always be this Gaga. Chat with Mom about it — and I do mean Madonna.
Speaking of that, Gaga’s mother was in the audience at “The View.” She is youthful and pretty. She wore an affectionate “oh, really?” expression through much of her daughter’s interview.
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“ONE IS so limited when traveling by ship.” That was Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra” casually dismissing the opulence of her fabled yacht and the feast prepared to impress Mark Antony. This line got a big laugh in 1963 (Joe Mankiewicz’s “Cleo” script was rather witty.) But it got an even bigger laugh last Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Center during a special screening of “Cleopatra.”
The place was packed with die-hard ET fans, who applauded and screamed at every entrance, each cut-to-the-navel outfit, and Miss Taylor’s actressy histrionics as The Serpent of the Nile. The film looks much better than it did in 1963, away from all the hoopla, and must be seen on a big screen. (The TV letterbox version is ridiculous — all impact is lost.)
Wolf whistles reached a peak as La Liz greeted Rex Harrison (Julius Caesar) on a divan, clearly naked under a sheer scarf. “Oh, it’s you,” she says shifting her curves. But nothing excited the Lincoln Center crowd more than Taylor’s confrontation with Richard Burton, after Antony’s “politically correct” marriage to another woman.
“You will assume the position of a suppliant before this throne. You will kneel.”
Burton sputters, “You dare ask…”
Eyes blazing like stop-signs, Taylor shrieks, “I asked it of Julius Caesar. I demand it of you!”
Antony knelt. The Taylor/Burton mythology was born.