I live for the Oscars—in fact, the day the nominations come out is my big annual orgasm—but some cruelty has started seeping into the proceedings. In 1998, Peter Fonda, Burt Reynolds, and the old lady from Titanic were all virtually promised statuettes by nearly everyone on earth, but then, at the very last minute, they were told, “Sorry—someone more glittering’s come along!” Thank God for the Felix Awards, the more fastidious and slightly more compassionate roommate of Oscar. Felix wouldn’t honor those people either—but he’d tell them nicely of their failure.
And now for the personalities, places, and nightmares Felix has seen fit to notice:Worst Party I Almost Got Into: Sean “Puffy” Combs’s overhyped, overblown, overinvited birthday bash at Cipriani’s. Thank God it’s over.
Worst Hollywood Trend: Scary old men and bouncy young babes (Bulworth; The Horse Whisperer; Six Days, Seven Nights). Let’s see the opposite scenario for a change. How about Gloria Stuart and Simon Birch?
Cultural Low Point: Everywoman Linda Tripp telling America, “I’m you!” Oh yeah, I constantly egg my friends on to make lurid phone confessions, after which I turn off the recorder and then try to market the tapes! And I look like Penny Marshall!
Runner-Up: The very same Tripp elaborating, “I’m an average American who found herself in a situation not of her own making.” Uh-huh, the phone just happened to have a taping device attached to it, which mysteriously started recording whenever Monica talked dirty, and then the cassettes somehow mailed themselves to a book agent. Just plug it up, honey!
Afterlife Marathon From Hell: City of Angels, What Dreams May Come, Beloved, Meet Joe Black. The postmortem on these ill-received epics is that they’ve given moviegoers new inspiration to stay alive!
Enough Already: Seemingly every entertainment outlet imaginable, from beauty pageants to dog-food commercials, ripping off the sidebar gimmick of VH1’s Pop-Up Videos. You expect to be watching the president on the news and see a bubble saying, “Semen—a viscous, whitish secretion of the male reproductive organs.”
Most Bizarrely Compelling Phenomena: Aretha singing an aria from Turandot; Viagra and cancer drugs leading to disease-free mice with hard-ons; cabbies striking in response to Giuliani demanding they be nice; Ginger Spice leaving the Spice Girls, who alarmingly now have no spices in their names!
The Year in Corpus Christi: The play—about how religious doctrine can be misused to spread hate—was dogged by protesters who misused religious doctrine to spread hate. They ended up helping the show immensely—it was such an artistic failure, no one would have cared otherwise.
Lamest Plot Device: The old I-only-had-one-copy-of-that-important-document shtick. The single copy of Kenneth Branagh’s novel was stolen by a jilted paramour in Celebrity. And in The Spanish Prisoner, the sole version of Campbell Scott’s elaborate, secret “process” that was designed to earn his company billions was conned right out of him. Haven’t these people ever heard of computers—or at least Xeroxing?
What We Learned From Designer Tom Ford: Sexuality is fluid, he suggested to Vanity Fair, adding, “You move in and out. I feel more toward the heterosexual side of the scale at this point in my life than I did 10 years ago. And honestly, if I weren’t in a relationship with Richard [his boyfriend]…there are women I’m very attracted to who I would hate to think wouldn’t consider me as a boyfriend because I was ‘gay.”‘ Yeah, and I feel more toward the big-queen side of the scale at this point in my life.
Unlucky 13 Worst Movies: Meet Joe Black, Chairman of the Board, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Sphere, Your Friends & Neighbors, No Looking Back, Deep Impact, Godzilla, Pleasantville, Dr. Dolittle, Hurlyburly, Full Tilt Boogie, The Celebration. But this list should by no means be considered complete, as I never got around to seeing that Billy Crystal stinker, My Giant.
But Wait, That List Was Indeed Invalid Because I Just Saw: Patch Adams—a big, inadvertent ad for chemotherapy. If I’m ever in a hospital and that freak tries to put an enema ball on my nose and throw me into a pool of pasta, kindly unplug me.
Worst Actor: (five-way tie) Carrot Top in Chairman of the Board (don’t ask), Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights (eight customers), John Malkovich as the Russian card shark in Rounders (nyet), Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black (Death be not boring), Daniel Stern in the even-worse-than-it-sounds Very Bad Things
Worst Actress: (five-way tie) Lauren Holly in No Looking Back (for me, there was no looking up), Tea Leoni in Deep Impact (get her, asteroid, get her!), Lacy Chabert in Lost in Space (let’s keep her there), Maria Pitillo in Godzilla (a real monster—I mean whoever green-lighted that one), Uma Thurman in The Avengers (Diana Rigg should avenge Uma’s performance)
Comeback That Never Happened: The ’70s. At the height of that 54 movie bomb, McDonald’s was stuck with those flashy retro commercials, shortly after which designers trotted out glam-rock clothes, hoping in vain that mall rats might start throwing on boas and face glitter. Suddenly the trademark smiley face was starting to look a bit nauseated.
Best Movie Involving Child Molesting: Happiness
Second Best: Lolita
Worst: The Celebration
Best Actress: (tie) Lisa Kudrow, Christina Ricci in The Opposite of Sex
Most Touching Cinema Moment: (tie) “Dad, what does cum mean?”—Happiness; “Vagina, vagina, vagina—does that word do anything for you?”—The Opposite of Sex
The Making of the Trucker Film Black Dog: “OK, we’ve got Patrick Swayze and Randy Travis—that’s a really solid acting duo. But for extra credibility, how about if we throw in …Meat Loaf?”
The Year in Ellen: ABC yanked the show off, an exec telling Diane Sawyer, “It became a program about a lead character who was gay every single week.” (I guess they thought she’d only be a part-time muncher.) Meanwhile, magazines wrote that Anne Heche should just shut up about her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres—a charge they never level at garrulous straight celebs. The tabloids even tried to pair Anne up with guys again, but sorry, folks—she’s gay every single week!
The Post-Gay Theory—You Know, Queer Parades Are So Unnecessary Because We’ve Assimilated Into Straight Society—Took a Slight Beating When: Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked and killed in Wyoming. Funny, “gay” seemed a significant label again.
As for “Ex-Gays” Who Feel You Can Walk Away From Your Sexuality: You always could. It’s called the closet.
You’ve Got Mail (and Don’t Want It): The latest issue of Out magazine just came to me mistakenly accompanied by a payroll list of their ad reps and how much commission they made on the October issue. Message to A.S.: You’re getting about 10 percent of J.B.’s rate.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 1999