NY Mirror

That tall drink of running water, Carol Channing, inaugurated the Village Theatre's Singular Sensationsseries, which consists of a diva Q&A with occasional musical outbursts. (By the way, if you're under 75, please skip ahead to the next graph.) An iron-willed trouper who won't stop bejeweling us with wide-eyed showstoppers, Carol was a delight and even danced with her feisty new husband for an encore. At the after-party at Lips, I told Carol that since she wrote in her memoirs that she's part African American, wasn't it she—and not Pearl Bailey—who was the first black Dolly? Carol grinned and said, "No! I'd like to say I was black, but I'm not." (Hmm, maybe the cutie didn't read her own book.) I awkwardly changed the subject to Skidoo, the insane '68 movie she made about gangsters on LSD and a real ski-don't. What did she remember about it? "Not much!" Carol said emphatically and tottered off, but not until cooing, "It was an honor to be interviewed by The Village Voice!"

But, like, back to current-event TV movies. Whose fascinating idea was it to cast the gay pedophile from Happiness as Elizabeth Smart's father? In movieland, a less controversial brainstorm was having the eternally dignified Walter Cronkite speak at the Master and Commander premiere. But Cronky's remarks about the late Patrick O'Brian (whose novels the flick's based on) were so gleefully honest, they almost had people mutinying. Cronkite said the guy was "dour," deeply critical, and intensely demanding, though he did add that after a few drinkie-poos, O'Brian loosened up and was terrif. Apparently the same goes for everyone in this column.

But one movie that made me tenser than a Pacino flack at an AIDS premiere was Love Actually, a mushy puff pastry that makes you want to run through a wedding chapel with a meat cleaver. The movie encompasses every imaginable kind of love—interracial, intergenerational, even romance between children—but not anything remotely gay and hardly anything that isn't pantingly looksist (a model-like love object's fat sister is studiously made fun of). Worse, it starts with an exploitative reference to 9-11 and climaxes with a character being heroized for running past airport security in the name of l'amour. This, after I practically had to submit to an anal probe just to get into the screening. Mendacity! Sodomy! Poontang! Spastic colons!


musto@villagevoice.com

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