NY Mirror

Tina Brown looked stunning in a green, flowing ensemble. (Oh, that was Lady Liberty.)

I've been traveling a lot, but like Holly Golightly, only keep running into myself. At least the Thomas Crown Affairpremiere in Southampton—a big Bulgari blowout—was a pleasant enough way to avoid too much reflection. The trashily entertaining movie has the guts to put two "older" stars in the romantic hot seat, though the lighting generally whites out their faces and Pierce Brosnan's tight-assed body double is clearly so young he wouldn't even be allowed to seethe movie. Still, I hope Crownclicks; it'll mean the end of those flaccid love stories between denture-wearing geezers and preteen Lolitas. I'm not sure how we can stop them in real life, though.

Before the movie even started, talk had already centered around firm, youngish buttocks. Francesco Scavullochatted me up about the recent bare-assed Brad Pittspread in W. "He looked like a hustler," he moaned. "When Ishot Brad, he said he didn't wantto look gay. He wouldn't take his shirt off—we put a vest on him." Funny, Ilook gay in a vest.

We put on our life vests and headed straight to the fancy Club Colette after-party, where someone was telling Marla Maples, "You should be in a movie like that." "Oh, I don't know," she blushed, holding on to Michael Mailer, who's actually put her in his ownmovie. Like Ivory soap, the girl always manages to float.

And so do I—right back to New York. You get there on the Hampton Jitney, where all the people who've indulged in lockjawed fake manners in their white smocks and parasols all weekend suddenly turn into the alligator from Lake Placid. They push, they shove, they sprawl out over two seats, they scream reservation requests on their cell phones. These are the folks who last year were threatened by the African American invasion and this year by the plethora of "suburbanites" coming in—but they should really be scared of their terrifying selves.

The pert bus attendant announced that everyone should keep his total phone time down to three minutes—hopefully this will go into law soon—prompting the compulsive little blabbermouth behind me to whimper, "I've already exceeded my amount!" As appeasement, the attendant then came around with a choice of pretzels or potato chips, inspiring the princess across from me to brilliantly ask, "Wait—what are my options?" "Pretzels or potato chips," repeated the girl in an exasperated deapdan. The entire busload held its collective breath as her choice was...drowned out by someone on a cell phone.

At the journey's peak, we were told that the women on board were getting free makeup and an Henri Bendel gift certificate—"though if the men have a wife, they can have one too." That sounded vaguely homo-and single-guy-phobic, so I cornered the waif and sniveled, "But I'm a transvestite," and she nicely relented. I was going to say "a marriedtransvestite," but didn't push it since I was wearing a vest. (By the way, the makeup turned out to be a wrinkle stick!)

Back in the city, I looked even younger than Pierce Brosnan, but needed to travel all over again—to the Talkmagazine party on Liberty Island, where media schmoozed media about media regarding media. What's more, to stay in tune with the mag's "Hip List," I had to sport matte hair, scabby knees, earth tones, and a radio. Fortunately, I already hadscabby knees. On the island, you were greeted by a long line of camera crews, plus Tina Brown, who looked stunning in a green, flowing ensemble. (Oh, that was Lady Liberty.) Past the reception committee, the soiree seemed strangely low-key, considering that everywhere you turned there was somebody massively famous. Maybe the energy was a little down because, though everyone from Madonnato Salman Rushdiewas there, it was so dark you couldn't actually see them!

Things picked up when everyone sauntered over to the better-lit picnic table area and scarfed down some potato salad (which, judging from the "Hip List," must have been Vietnamese and/or dotted with thick-cut bacon). I matted my hair some more and forced various notables to respond to Hillary's saucy Talkrevelation—you know, how Bill was psychologically abused in a bitter childhood struggle between two generations of trailer trash. The answers? Vera Wang: "I'm not at all shocked. Everybody has their past. Why should he be excluded?" Kurt Andersen: "Pathetic. Count me down as a 'pathetic."' Ann Magnuson: "Excuses, excuses, excuses. That's something I heard said back in the hollers of West Virginia!" Charlie Hunnam, hottie star of the Brit TV sensation Queer as Folk: "I have no opinion of Hillary. She's not really a big deal in England." John Waters: "I'm such a fan of Hillary. I've said psychobabble in my life. We all do." Erica Jong: "I think Tina did a phenomenal job. Hats off to that!" Cynthia Rowley: "I feel compassion for people, but only to a certain point. I'd have moved on a long time ago!" And Candace Bushnell: "The thing that killed me was Hillary's remark that a psychologist said the worst position for a man to be in is between two women. For most men, that's the bestposition." But for others...Well, I was starting to understand the psychological abuse angle.

While I pondered this, earth tones hit the sky in a fireworks display narrated by George Plimpton ("This is dedicated to the advertisers....") as Donna Karanscurried for a better view, exulting, "I'm a sucker for fireworks!" But suddenly the sound system crackled with Queen Latifahsaying, "All youse very important people, come near the stage." By the time I got there, Talk's publisher Ron"Puffy" Galottiwas rapping about the magazine—but then Tina "Misdemeanor" Brown took over, wouldn't youse know, saying, "Ron is sometimes known as Mr. Big, but to me he's Mr. Enormous!" I guess we're talking thick-cut bacon.

In the crowd, Conan O'Brien was rubbing Willem Dafoe's shaved head; Jeremy Northam was telling me that after I quoted him saying "Cate Blanchett's brilliant. I hate her"—chortle, chortle, chortle—the British press twisted it into a realfeud; and Dr. Ruth—who was notthe basis for Mini-me—was screeching, "Where are the gift bags? Where are the freebies?" I almost gave her that Bendel gift certificate, but basically didn't want to.

In Manhattan again, no free coupons came for the huge bomb Drop Dead Gorgeous—New Line's taken me off their list, even though I'm one of the few media people who can standtrash like this—but even after paying, I have to say the flick isn't nearly as rotten as the critics said. Yes, it's scattershot and condescending, but it's one of the livelier satires around, and besides, some showings are turning into gay cruise parties.

Speaking of fun trash, the National Examinerjust had an especially intriguing headline: "Rosie O'Donnell's Love...rescues Wynonna Juddafter painful divorce." The accompanying article reported that Rosie and Wynonna have a lot in common, like the fact that they're both single moms who ride Harleys. Wynonna's quoted as saying, "When I leave Rosie, I need to take a nap," and Rosie, in turn, says Wynonna taught her how to pinch her own butt to sing a low note. Maybe k.d. langcould teach her to reach those high notes. Now what are my options? musto@villagevoice.com

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