Liz Smith: We Heart Prevention Magazine!

And more from our Liz: Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” — it’s totally haywire and it’s a hell of a ride!

“WHAT JUST might be more powerful than a surgeon’s knife against the number one killer of men and women today?” asks the editor of Prevention — the nifty little magazine that is burning up newsstands as it sails off the shelves.

The attractive editor Diane Salvatore answers her own question. “A fork!” She adds that “heart disease and heart attacks are almost entirely preventable by choosing the right exercise and eating heart-healthy meals.”

I once worked at Hearst with this very good editor whose publication has lines on the cover like Belly Melt Diet or Drop Around the Clock! The hit success of Prevention magazine from the Rodale publishers reminds me a bit of the early days when David Brown wrote the coverlines for his wife Helen Gurley’s then-daring Cosmopolitan.

And you thought magazines were going down the Internet drain! No, not a magazine on health — how to get it, how to achieve it — and the magazine is a handy size you want to keep.

The Paula Deen/diabetes stories of late make a magazine like this even more in demand.

* * *

“OH, NO, don’t think of her as a woman. That would be a mistake!” So says Ewan McGregor to Michael Fassbender in the new Steven Soderbergh thriller, “Haywire.” They are discussing the film’s star, Gina Carano. This line got a big laugh from the Manhattan audience gathered together by The Cinema Society and BlackBerry Bold, a few nights back. By that point in the movie, Miss Carano had beaten, killed, overpowered every man who crossed her, coming away with nothing more than a few bruises easily concealed with makeup. Forget her being a woman, she seemed barely human!

“Haywire” is highly entertaining, deliciously implausible and reminiscent of many other films and TV shows about covert agents who are “burned” and then have to prove they are not a bad guy. Aside from Ms.Carano, McGregor and Fassbender, “Haywire” is enlivened with appearances by such stars as Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton.

The audience just loved the leading lady’s ability to take — and give! — the most astonishing punches, or crush men between her thighs. The plot? Forget it — twisty and confusing in that film-noir way that beggars all sense.

There are wonderfully absurd bits — why is she suddenly wearing a fetching little newsboy cap, during one long sequence of fleeing and fighting … why, for no reason whatsoever, does she appear in dramatic camouflage paint, her long hair in intricate corn-rows? Ladies, you know this takes hours to do! Then her hair is long again, then back in the corn-rows, while she’s beating the hell out of Mr. McGregor. Explanation? It’s only a movie. Don’t think too much.

Miss Carano is quite attractive, but has an oddly flat affect, no real spark, danger or even allure. But perhaps that was Soderbergh’s intention — she is a desensitized cipher, like all the men in the movie. Why give her character an unrealistic femininity or emotionalism? Although at times she did remind me of Catherine Zeta-Jones, who appeared memorably in Soderbergh’s “Traffic.”

Members of the audience who really enjoyed “Haywire” included Gina GershonDebra WingerTony DanzaLance BassGraydon CarterAndrew Saffir … the absolutely ageless Debbie Harry and newly single Calvin Klein. Calvin arrived at the theater all bundled up against the bitter cold. But he shed his layers right down to a skin-tight, short-sleeved tee-shirt that announced to the observant crowd — “Not crying and available!”

The party after was at Sons of Essex. Too small, too crowded, too hot. But nobody minded. They were slugging back margaritas and Manhattans, themed for the film.

* * *

ARE you still reading magazines? Maybe you should be. Time’s recent take on the billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett was not to be missed. (January 23 issue)

I loved reporter Rana Foroohar’s story about how many of the rich and famous seek Buffett’s counsel in Omaha. She reported: “Recent visitors include Fiat scion John Elkann and the Baroness de Rothschild, whom Buffett took to Piccolo’s, the modest family-owned Italian steak house where, the tycoon reported: “She loved it here. She had a root-beer float for dessert.”

The Baroness de Rothschild just happens to be a pal of mine and she is sharp as a tack. I once sat between her husband and Prince Andrew of Great Britain at dinner — and although the prince was a hail-fellow well-met with lots of jokes, I enjoyed the Baron Evelyn even more. He tells great stories of how he spent part of his childhood, in World War II, safe here in the colonies. He loves American fast food.

* * *

HOW about the news that many people’s pet columnist Peggy Noonan of Ronald Reagan fame is now dating Richard Cohen? (She wrote some of Ronnie’s speeches.)

But Mr. Cohen is the man who was wed to TV’s Paula Zahn before the “Pale Male” kick-the-hawks-off-the-window sill made him infamous as an apartment owner who showed no mercy. (He and Paula are now divorced.)

Well, this little romance is just the observation of “a mere gossip columnist,” as Ms. Noonan once characterized me, so don’t pay any attention.

8 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Wiley Canuck says:

    Love Ewan McGregor – now that’s an actor.

  2. avatar Lila says:

    Ugh. There is such a thing as a burn notice. The Hollywood notion of it is so far off the mark that it isn’t even entertaining. Implausible? You bet. Deliciously so? Well – not so much.

  3. avatar rick gould says:

    “absolutely ageless Debbie Harry and newly single Calvin Klein. ..”
    That’s rich ; )
    Which is what you have to be to afford repeat plastic surgery and underwear model boy toys!
    Ah, the lives of rich, aging celebrities…why isn’t Robin Leach doing a TV show about this?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Rick…
      The lives of rich aging celebrities are no different than the lives of rich young celebrities.  Except for the Botox and stitches.   I suppose we could somehow do away with the concept of stars and celebrity–in a way we have, what with the rise of reality TV and all it has spawned. 

      So, no actors, singers, designers.  We’d just have politicans, who are so much more sincere and honest.

      • avatar rick gould says:

        Hell, if I had the money, maybe I’d do the same thing…don’t really have a problem with it. Just why candy coat it?

        • avatar Mr. Wow says:

          Dear Rick…

          You mean–“Debbie Harry, fresh from her last face lift”  or “Calvin Klein, sad old homo, dumped by his young trade?” 
          The National Enquirer still exists for that take on things. 

  4. avatar JCF4612 says:

    Paula Deen really looks tacky, given her newfound way to milk a drug copany profit cow. I would support her desire to keep her diagnosis private. Or I would support her if she wanted to go public.
    But this business of her keeping it hush-hush until she could sign a lucrative deal to shill for the pharmaceutical she’s lapping up  (“Ask your doctor if Paula’s drug is right for you!”), well that really stinks to high heaven. So her damage control is to now say she’s donating some profit to the diabetic association. Big deal. She still had a tin ear on this one. 

  5. avatar Pennie Fay says:

    Hello Ms. Smith. My question is unrelated to this topic. I was a NYC Paramedic….that’s as close to the topic as I get. The reason I am writing is I am trying to reconnect with Elaine Stritch. I was injured at work in 2005 and have lost touch with her. Hope she is doing well? I cannot retrieve phone #’s from the old nextel I had from work. They confiscated the phone once they realized I could not return. Although she was in under an alias I managed to remove her #. Can you help me reach her? I know her birthday is coming up as well as yours ;). Happy Birthday! I don’t want to display my phone # for obvious reasons. Can you contact her for me and reconnect us? Is there anything I need to do to help you help me? I don’t want to reveal things via this board. My email is registered. Please help me reunite with her. Thank you and GOD Bless you! Pennie Fay