By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
The Oscars don't count for diddly-squatwell, actually they do, as will be witnessed by my relentless succession of columns detailing every single aspect of them. But in the meantime, the annual Felix Awards deserve a little attention, as they unerringly capture what's truly rotten and appalling about American culture at its most chunks-inducing. Really loud, annoying drumroll, please, as we announce the winners, whether they want the Felix or not:
LEAST LIKELY TO END UP ON THE SIDE OF A MILK CARTON (A/K/A MOST OVEREXPOSED): Charlize Theron, Joaquin Phoenix, Helen Hunt, Carson Daly and Tara Reid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donato Dalrymple, Richard Hatch. Take a vacation, people! Start by staying home just one night! Watch yourselves on TV!
WHO WANTS TO MARRY A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE?: Not me. Just give me a poverty-stricken shlub without a restraining order.
LET'S PUT AN END TO: "A star-making performance." As in "Barry Pepper gives a star-making performance in Battlefield Earth." Please! Also, let's have no more corny songs sung at movie funerals ("American Pie" in The Next Best Thingand "Na, Na, Hey, Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]" in Remember the Titans). Even fictional farewells should not be used to sell soundtracks!
MOST HORRIFYING FINALE (don't read this if you'd rather not have the plot twist of a movie ruined): The shocking closer of Robert Altman's gynecological comedy, Dr. T & the Womeneven more of a jaw-dropper than the endings of Psycho, Thelma & Louise, and The Sixth Sense combined. It involvedget out your vomit bagsa loving close-up of a woman's giant vagina giving birth in all of its life-affirming glory. Blechhhhhh!!!! Gag me! Make it go away! Make it drive off a cliff!
SIMILARLY, HERE'S WHY I CAN'T BRING MYSELF TO SEE THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES: I just can't stomach anything with that word in the title. You know, monologues.
THAT DREAD MOMENT HAS ARRIVED: Madonna was on the cover of Good Housekeeping, and what's worse, the cover line was "Madonna Grows Upolder and wiser, she talks about her wild past, her worst mistake, and why she's trying to be an old-fashioned mom." No!!!!! Make it go faraway! Why have I lived this long?
MOST REPETITIVE DIALOGUE ABOUT MADONNA'S CHARACTER IN THE NEXT BEST THING: "You're a great lay," "You are the most beautiful woman I know," "You're not just a mother, Abbie, you're beautiful," " . . . your fantastic body," etc. All right, already, you're so gorgeous you could make a gay guy like gynecology, OK?
WHO'S ZOOMING WHO?: The Miami relatives of Elián González claimed that photos of the kid happily reunited with his dad were doctoredthis from the people who'd just starred him in that whiny video in which he kept looking at them for direction! They all should head right to Sundance!
HONEST MISTAKES?: Hillary Clinton didn't tip a diner waitress after being given a free breakfast (as a comp lifestyler, I happen to know you're supposed to tip extra); Jennifer Lopez appeared on the cover of Talkcocking her fingers in a shoot-'em-up position (Puffy must have pistol-whipped her ass after that); critic Rex Reed forgot to pay for several CDs at Tower (and here's the embarrassing partthey were Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, and Carmen McRae); George W. Bush became desperate to stop manual recounts in Florida, even though he'd signed a law in Texas saying that was by far the best way to go (yeah, but he meant in Texas, not in Florida, right?); and on her dismal TV show, Dr. Laura Schlessinger gushed to a guest who said she was a professional note-taker for college athletes, "I'm really honored you have the courage to come here today." But it really didn't take a whole lot of courage, did it, since the woman turned out to be a staffer on the show. And the segment was about cheating! What a bunch of cheesy 'hos!
WORST MOVIES: The Beach, Return to Me(I only saw the first half), Battlefield Earth(I only saw the first third), The Replacements (I only saw the first tenth), Coming Soon, Dinosaur, Quills, Urbania, Duets, Vatel, and any other piece of caca with a one-word title.
SOMETHING'S ROTTEN: I didn't mind the Pepsi One product placement in the Ethan Hawke Hamlet, but I simply couldn't abide it when Hawke said, "What a piece of work is a man." They added the a! Will must have been rolling!
MOST UNAPPEALING PERFORMANCES: Gwyneth Paltrow in Duets(she did the misbegotten karaoke-as-a-way-of-life epic as a favor to Daddy, but managed to tarnish boththeir careers); Diane Lane in The Perfect Storm(with her nonstop sobbing, she out-showered the hurricane but unfortunately couldn't drown out the dialogue); Al Gore's concession speech.
SAD FACT: The supposed troll on Queer as Folkis cuter than I am. But I have way more soul!
BY THE WAY, IF THE SCHINDLER'S FIST JOKE IN THAT SAME SHOWTIME SERIES SOUNDS A LITTLE FAMILIAR: It may be because you read it first in this column positively yearsago. I'm mad as folk!