NY Mirror

Just as offbeat in its paternity issues, JIM JARMUSCH's Broken Flowers turned out to be a well-observed road movie in which BILL MURRAY deals with the possibility of having fathered a son years ago. I thought those kind of plotlines died with old Bette Davis potboilers, but they're still hot; in fact, Murray did one just last year in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. This time, he lowers his familiar deadpan to such a slow burn that he's almost a hologram. The movie around him has wonderful turns by SHARON STONE and JESSICA LANGE, but at the premiere, at least one notable was begging me not to draw public attention to his yawning spells.

The next thing I knew, I was playing daddy at Runt, the Wednesday-night gay party at Nowhere Bar to celebrate short people and their long-armed admirers. STEPHIN MERRITT (who co-promotes with DAVID YARRITU) told me he designed the event as an antidote to Bear, the hirsute happening on Tuesdays at the same bar. "I want to fetishize short people," he crowed. "Not particularly fat or hairy ones—not bears. And this is a particularly good place for it because the ceilings are so low." Actually, glancing around, it just looked like a regular old cruise bar for men of unchallenged height. Where the fuck were the short stuffs? "That goes with the territory," Merritt insisted. "If there are tall people, you can't see the short ones." (True—at that point I looked down and noticed six dwarves hanging onto my shoelaces).

Merritt's runt icons? "Napoleon," he boomed. Uh-huh, absolutely. "Capote," he went on. Oh yeah, faboo, doll. "And ROBERT BLAKE," he concluded. Yikes! I was gonna run and call the cops until he added, "And as for the women, LINDA HUNT is a goddess." Indeed. Give the little lady a clenched hand.


LITTER BOX

FLACK NARCISSUS

Who's the most adorable, delectable publicist on the scene—the woman who, without notice, stops sending you her quality invites but generously keeps you on the Grade-Z crap list; the needy gal whose favorite thing to promote is herself, while alerting you to every bit of low-level, extorted press she gets; the restrictions queen who piles on so many advance rules you're afraid to even ask her mid-level client, "So how are you?" (after you sell your soul, the interview is postponed anyway); the lady who allows you to phone-interview her star right away, graciously saying, "We just want to get this over with" (she later wackily begs you to hold the article for a few weeks!); the dame who has a breakdown when you accidentally step on her red carpet, even though the photogs there are so desperate they actually start shooting you en masse; or the hanger-on who begs you to come to an event, then weirdly turns his back when you show up? It's a seven-way tie with the drag queen who, despite 10 years of glorious mentions, doesn't say hello because you didn't mention her that week! All together, they compose the guest list of hell—and if I'm at the door, honey, I assure you they'll be ushered right in. And fisted.


WEB EXTRA

The kids over at talkinbroadway.com (who are right sometimes) swear that in August, ROSIE O'DONNELL is definitely maybe gonna replace ANDREA MARTIN in the Golde role (opposite HARVEY FIERSTEIN) in Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof. If that's true, it's a much better choice than ROBERT GOULET.


musto@villagevoice.com

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