By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Conversely, everyone was dumbstruck when Ed Norton and Oscar nominee Salma Hayek broke upbut did I not tell you about the Academy Awards relationship jinx? Have we not all known for years that trouble can descend upon a household when the womanformerly a career featherweightis suddenly nabbing international honors and the guy might not be. (And yes, I'm aware that the guy worked on the script, had a cameo, and is generally splendid.) I'm not saying awards are the only factors in these breakups, but honey, they usually play more than a supporting role. I won't even go into the tragic ancient history of Burt Reynolds and Sally Field (he secretly prayed she wouldn't do Norma Rae because he knew it was an Oscar part) or William Hurt and Marlee Matlin (he reportedly belittled her achievement just hours after she held the gold). But more recently, don't you suspect Kim Basinger's surprise Oscar put a tiny pall on her then marriage to Alec Baldwin? Weren't Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt doomed the second the little sweetheart started grabbing up every trophy in sight for Erin Brockovich? Didn't Jennifer Connelly and her man allegedly break up on the way into the Oscars the night she tasted sweet victory? Isn't a woman with an award the most erection-toppling image imaginable for any ambitious male actor?
(Sidebar: No, Frances McDormand's and Susan Sarandon's Oscars didn't hurt their home lives, but that's because their relationships are stronger than the others, and besides, their beaux directed them to glory, so they really got to share in their triumphs. But why are Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe still a team? She didn't even thank him! )
Moving on to a newly single Oscar nominee: So, Sharon Stone ends up being dumped by the hubby for "irreconcilable differences"? Sharon's third movie? Irreconcilable Differences. She played a trampy actress who broke up a marriage. I know shit like that. Ivy League!
The most fascinating movieland development? Ben Affleck, as reported, wants to play the straight narrator in the movie version of the gay baseball play Take Me Out, and the part will undoubtedly be beefed up. But guess what, kids? That's the same role that was whittled down in the play's move to Broadway because it was way too talky. J'adore Hollywood!
The most interestingly worded recent Post headline? "Slain Over Butt Crack." They meant that a man may have been killed because he made a crack about his wife's butt, not that . . . well, you fill in the alternate meanings.
The trouble with Fire Island? It's gorgeous hedonism on the dunes, as alwaysand there are some stunning vistas of butt cracksbut they'd better start updating the place or it'll become as obsolete as Pam and Kid Rock. With the economy teetering and a lot of progressive gays wanting to spend the summer in more sexually mixed places (even though they stick with each other in those places), the island needs to drop the Bette Midler impressions and druggy revels and enter the new 'mo-llennium. Interestingly, the play being performed in the Pines this summer is The Boys in the Band, about campy, tortured pre-Stonewall gays. At least they're doing it as a period piece.
The most fabulous new glitter-ary event in Gotham? "Cause Celeb!," which is playing a handful of Mondays at the Marquee, where stars' memoirs are interpretively read aloud by actors who wryly underline every self-aggrandizing sentiment. Last week, the emphasis was on divas climbing out of the wreckage of their career nadirs. According to the chapters we heard, Liz Ashley's agent told her, "You're smelly fish in this town!"; Joan Collins was asked by an unemployment clerk, "Didn't you use to be Joan Collins?"; and Zsa Zsa Gabor, stuck in jail after slapping a cop, knew just what to do with all that free time: "I contemplate the legend of Zsa Zsa Gabor." So do I, honey!
The snazziest Tuesday night love-in? It's "Vinny's Night Out" at La Scatolina, where Vinny Vellathe outsized personality who plays Jimmy Balls on upcoming Sopranos showsattracts a linguini-slurping crowd that looks like Central Casting's idea of big-haired, heavy-chained émigrés from old Mulberry Street. "Some of them are nutjobs, but they spend," Vinny told me. "Whaddya gonna do?" Nothing, just sit back and enjoy them, along with the entertainmentFrank Bray and Kevin James crooning Rat Pack standardsand, naturally, the (spaghetti and) balls.
The biggest ones of the month? MSNBC gave Michael Savage a talk show because he said things on the radio like "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig!" Then he said that on MSNBC, so they fired him. They should die of asshole-itis.
No, I know who should plotzspam perpetrators! Now that everyone's wise to them, these cretins have to try that much harder to make sure you actually open their smelly fish. Well, the most desperate tactic of all came last week, when an e-mail (probably from Michael Savage) landed my way with the unmissable subject "Fags must die." Fuming, I wasn't even remotely going to let this one go unread. So I immediately clicked on the missive and found that it was a promo offer for some sad, innocuous cable TV filter. If it were real hate mail, at least it would have been more honest. Spam senders must die!
And publicists must be lightly bitch-slapped. Yes, they have every right to be annoyed that Us Weekly got a Kate Hudson story by having a reporter sneakily approach her as a fan, but this desperation situation partly exists because of publiciststhey make magazines jump through hoops and sign their souls away before nabbing approved sit-downs.
But nice handlers invited me to see Madame Satãa lurid, florid movie about an angry Brazilian drag queen, a sort of tucked and gussied Jimmy Ballswhich at times seems like a long high-heeled temper tantrum but has got slithery spunk to burn. Alas, real nerves frayed at the Film Forum premiere when the sound went haywire and everyone was sent away with a coupon to see it some other time. I found this out at the rather poignant after-party at Flow (I'd already seen the film on tape), by which point director Karim Aïnouz had gone home depressed and had to be begged back. "I had invited all my friends," he lamented when he got there. "It's so Douglas Sirk. At least I'm getting good sex tonight and it'll all be fine." Hmmwhat mountable piece of live flesh did he see before him? "No, it's all already arranged," Aïnouz explained. How much? "It's very inexpensive," he said, laughing. "Only a coupon away." Oscar, please!