By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
Le Divorce is le movie with Kate Hudson (who's thankfully dropped le giggles and gotten more contemplative) and le red Hermès handbag and le Eiffel Tower, which co-star Matthew Modine was going to tell me about at the premiere party (which had le petit food, by the way) when le Marcia Gay Harden came breathlessly running over. "Matthew!" she enthused. "People magazine just asked me who's the sexiest person here and I pointed to you!" Marcia's hubby beamed a little uncomfortably and so did Matthew's wife, but I assure you there won't be two le divorces in the works; this was all deeply professional fun. When I got sexy Matthew's attention back, he said he liked working for James Ivory because "young filmmakers are like, 'Fuck it, I've got to make my fucking film.' They focus on all the wrong things. Mature directors don't feel that pressure."
Neither does co-star Bebe Neuwirth, who cheerily came over and said, "I have string bean in my teeth. . . . Wasn't it nice of them to put earrings on the table?" They were actually chocolate Eiffel Towers, which prompted Harden to loom back toward the table and pant, "Can I take one?" "Sure," I said, flashing le inside of my bag to reveal that the biggest one was already spoken for. (Show me a chocolate skyline and I turn into a gay Godzilla.) Will Bebe be playing Vera in the upcoming Mame revival, as has been buzzed about? "No, I respectfully declined," she admitted. Why? Long pause. "I guess I wanted to do something else," she said, laughing.
Just then I was introduced to Lisa Masters, who's respectfully agreed to act in the currently filming remake of The Stepford Wives. "I'm sorry I didn't see your movie tonight," Masters oozed. I explained that I'm a hack writer, not a hotsy totsy movie star. "Oh, let me tell you about The Stepford Wives," she said, turning into the kind of robotic gossip machine that can sit next to me anytime. "Nicole Kidman slipped and fell today when we were filming the supermarket scene. They've added a gay couple to update the movie. Roger Bart plays a gay man in the supermarket scene. Faith Hill has a role, and she's really nice. In the morning, she hugs you hello. Her hubby, Tim McGraw, came to the set today and everyone stared. Christopher Walken is in it too, and he said, 'You haven't seen Gigli, have you?' He's so embarrassed! We didn't even know he was in it!"
Well, I did, thank youand that provides the perfect chance for me to unleash some more uproariously humorous observations about that hideous ex-gay epic (even if it's rigligone by now): Dubya can stop looking for any weapon of mass destruction. Gigli is it. . . . The dumbest thing about the flick is the way the studio redid the part where Ben Affleck got killed, opting instead for a "happy ending." Ben's character dying was a happy ending. . . . The best thing is that a minimally more appetizing twist on the same plot devicethe straight woman going lesbo in Kissing Jessica Steincame first. . . . Still, "Bennifer" may survive Gigli and might even bond more tightly; after all, Madonna and Guy Ritchie are closer than ever after Swept Away. (But don't count on it. As I said months agono wedding!)
Not close at all these days, Liza Minnelli and David Gestperhaps prove that our prez is right, and gay marriage doesn't work after all, ha ha (though Dubya's claim that marriage should be a sacred institution for only heteros was just marred by the Teen Choice Awards honoree who's one teen's choice for rape charges). Joan Rivers just told me re the Minnelli breakup, "When your maid of honor can't find her shoes, you know you're in trouble." And there were other problems; Liza-and-David always seemed more a case of manager/client or sponsor/assignee than hubby/wife and reportedly ran into bumps when wifey couldn't deliver anymore as a windup Trilby. Way back in January I told you, "What star who's flaunted that weird hubby is supposedly trying to find a way out of the unholy alliance?" (Who did you think I meantthe Schwarzeneggers?)
More recently, for them to have canceled a Larry Kingappearancetheir favorite joint activitythings had to have been really untenable. At that time, David was removing his stuff from their domicile in a poetic parallel to last year's incident when he reportedly had Liza's '70s furniture tossed into the street without telling her. Still, thanks to their scary, temporarily sobering union, at least there was that eye-poppingly freaky wedding portraitLiza, David, Liz, and Jacko, all done up like QVC dollsthat quickly became the Mount Rushmore for the new millennium.
While we're on slightly offbeat playthings, Scott Elliotone of the producers of the hit puppet musical Avenue Qtold me they didn't feel they had to ask kitschy wannabe politico Gary Coleman's permission to use him as a character. Elliot's right. Though the part's played with a teensy sense of ridicule, it's basically quite endearing, and at least they didn't make Gary a puppet; he's played by a real-life woman!