‘Like, oh my God, you guys!’ to paraphrase Christina Aguilera’s Grammy acceptance speech. Miami Beach is now a dizzying blur of bold-faced names, soigné restaurants, and misguided macho mayhem, torn between celebrity glamour and a nauseated feeling about club honcho Chris Paciello’s alleged antics. But while that adds pathos to the party, the party does go on, albeit with more security.
I went down courtesy of the Miami Film Festival—the friendly fest, which is marred only by occasional ringing cell phones disrupting the pristine period art films. Amid all the class, there was one trashily fun movie—Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, a Peruvian Risky Business, with Salvador del Solar positively dreamy as the officer who supplies prosties to horny troops in the Amazon. Salvador himself quickly commandeered the festival with his swarthy good looks and understated charm, and when he told the crowd he has a wife, a lot of them really started panting.
“It was hot and rainy,” Salvador revealed about the making of the movie, “and your face would swell up from mosquito bites.” Aw, how cute! An audience member wondered if the flick portrays Peruvian women accurately, and one of the screen whores responded, “Yes. There are two kinds of women— wives and social workers—and work dignifies.” (No, I didn’t understand, or even listen; I was too busy looking at Salvador.)
That night, we partied like ho’s at the beautiful-people-laden Ocean Drive magazine bash at the Loews Hotel, where there were wives, social workers, and the weekend’s omnipresent (but separate) triumvirate—Adrien Brody, Robin Leach, and Steven Seagal—the last one bowing to me as if he were some bizarre Valley Buddha. On the street afterward, a guy with raccoon eye makeup urged me to come with him to Chaos, where “at 3 a.m. all the straight men want to strip and go gay.” Instead I checked out the already-that-way at the thriving dance club Level, which is fabulously dotted with early-’90s-style oddballs, including fake It Twins and, that night, the real Lady Bunny. Crawling back to our hotel in the wee hours, we saw Salvador and company also returning. “We went to B.E.D.,” he explained to me when I fatefully ran into him again the next day. It’s a restaurant/lounge—and I’d like to go there with him sometime.
Lunch at Caviarteria was a symphony of lobster knuckles and other crustaceous body parts. The foie gras, smoked wild boar, and especially the terrazzo floors were delish—and, back at the hotel, so was Salvador, who was being interviewed by the pool, surrounded by a del Solar system of admirers. I interrupted and asked him what a “black kiss” is (his character announces that the hookers won’t do such a thing). Of course, I knew full well what it is, but wanted to hear it from his own precious lips. “It means the kissing of, how you say, the ass,” he said, making a circular gesture with his hand, and I almost fainted.
The next day, we blew pastel kisses at Jean-Charles Tacchella‘s People Who Love Each Other, and though star Jacqueline Bisset didn’t show up because of a slipped disk, Tacchella was there and said, “With actresses, you never know if they arrive on the plane.” The movie, he added, “is about finding the good partner for life, even if it’s just for a few years.” Or a few minutes, if the partner is Salvador del Solar, as everyone agreed over dinner at Joia that night. The place is owned by Paciello and Ingrid Casares, and judging from its booming business, you’d never know about the twosome’s down-spiraling power. Afterward, everyone sucked in exotic desserts at Cameron Diaz‘s “Asian rim restaurant,” Bambú—a real scene, especially since, sure enough, Adrien Brody, Robin Leach, and Steven Seagal were there, though Seagal had stopped bowing.
But the best people-watching of all is on Ocean Drive, where everyone gets so into their cruising mode that I caught someone gaping at a statue and saying, “What a big bulge!” The apex of hedonism was the VolleyPalooza on the beach, at which hot people stand around looking at other hot people with no irony whatsoever. We simmered down at Wish at the Todd Oldham-designed The Hotel, gorging by the bubbling mosaic fountain and (I-need-a) date palm. The final movie was the extremely well-made emigrant drama East-West, whose leading lady, Sandrine Bonnaire, beamed, “I’m very happy to be here because it’s warm!” I chased her happy ass all the way to the closing-night gala at the Vizcaya, a lavish mansion filled with buffets and serious critics uncharacteristically gushing about how hot they are for Salvador. Bye, Miami. Big black kiss.
I made it back to New York—with columnists, you never know if they arrive on the plane—and landed at HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2 premiere at MOMA, the closest thing to a hot time considering that Salvador was back in Peru. I told Ellen DeGeneres that her recent comment that you can’t be both funny and political has been disproven by George W. Bush, and she agreed—score one for me. Since Ellen and Sharon Stone go after sperm in the Anne Heche-written-and-directed Walls segment, I asked if she and Heche would be getting some from the nearby David Crosby. “He’s had some beautiful babies,” Ellen said. “But maybe I’ll go for the guy who just interviewed me for Entertainment Tonight. He looks like Ricky Martin. It all depends on what happens tonight. I may come after you for some sperm.” “But I can’t get it up,” I warned—though I did get off on her and Stone making love in the movie. “I’ve had more gay men say that,” she revealed. “Is that a compliment?”
Moving on, the creamy-skinned Tonya Harding was certainly flattered to be asked by the White Trash Debutantes’ lead singer, Ginger Coyote, to appear with the band (which sings “Don’t Mess With Tonya Harding”), though the beleaguered skating star has triple-lutzed away from the offer. At least she didn’t hurl a hubcap at them.
Speaking of reckless abuse, here’s my final word on the revelation that the Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? guy was accused of roughing up and threatening to kill his ex-fiancée: OK, so you want a multimillionaire who’s nice?
Oh, and now compulsive offspring exploiter Kathie Lee Gifford is quitting her main venue because she wants to protect her children from publicity? Like, oh my God, you hypocrite! You are so Squonk (the new synonym for awful—though I did like it when a performer in that show pulled a clarinet out of an audience member’s ass. What a big bulge!).
But back to art films: Todd Stephens, who wrote the gay-themed Edge of Seventeen, has now concocted a screenplay called Gypsy 83, about a fat girl who’s so obsessed with Stevie Nicks that she escapes Ohio to go to the Night of 1000 Stevies at Mother. Excuse me, but I don’t recall having signed away the rights to my life story.