Oy, what a year! Dana Giacchetto did my taxes, Peter Bacanovic my stock-broking, Arthur Andersen my accounting, Rosie O’Donnell my editing, Winona Ryder my shopping, David Gest my producing, Michael Jackson my babysitting—and now I’m hoping Martha Stewart will do my jail cell! But until lockup happens, there’s still time to reveal the winners of this year’s Felix Awards—the Death Row answer to the Oscars.
WORST MOVIES: Human Nature, The Santa Clause 2, Bad Company (starring that enchanting new Tracy and Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (I left before that horse could do one more noble thing), The Truth About Charlie (I left before learning the truth about Charlie)
WORST PERFORMANCES: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York (shoot me—but at least I’m aware that the worst things often border on genius), Jimmy Smits in Star Wars, the horse in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
WORST TRENDS IN MOVIES: Digital filmmaking (Full Frontal, The Chateau), cute sayings at the beginning of each scene (Tadpole), smirky chats to the camera (24 Hour Party People), horse cartoons!
SURPRISE PHENOMENON: My Big Fat Greek Wedding was like an old Love, American Style and even featured some of the same actors! The pacing was off, the leads had less than divine chemistry, and the gags (the Windex joke, the crack about how all words are derived from Greek) were repeated till the baklava came home. Still, the flick radiated likability as both a Cinderella story and a peek at Greek American culture, which came off the same as Italian American, Jewish, or any other ethnic group. What the fuck—let’s go see it again (or maybe we can just wait till the new sitcom it’s spawning).
BEST DIS TO FLING AT A FASHIONISTA: “That outfit is so September 10.” (Thank you, John Waters.)
EXCUSE ME?: Mayor Bloomberg pulled out of the Columbus Day Parade when organizers wouldn’t welcome two Sopranos cast members he’d invited. But he stuck with the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade even though they still gleefully ban gay contingents. “I think they are very different issues,” he explained. Yeah—the Italians have a right to be mad about The Sopranos.
HUH?: Martha Stewart got in heaps of trouble for allegedly using insider information that led to her dumping spiraling stocks. But what good is getting insider information unless you use it? Huh? Huh?
A READER’S WELL-REASONED ASSESSMENT OF JIMMY FALLON: “As long as I’ve got a face, he’s got a place to sit.”
SOUR GRAPES: Bill Cosby said the Osbournes are “a sad, sad family.” Come on, sadder than the Cosbys? The same month, non-Oscar-winner Angela Bassett revealed that she turned down Halle Berry‘s Academy Award-winning role in Monster’s Ball because it was a “demeaning stereotype about black women and sexuality” and she won’t play “prostitutes.” That’s funny—most people saw the movie as one of the most blistering condemnations of racism ever filmed. Plug it up, be-otch!
ROTTEN TOMATOES: Michael Jackson whined that Sony head Tommy Mottola is a racist and didn’t promote his bomb album enough. Funny, Jacko didn’t promote it at all! Get a nose! And take that towel off your kid’s head!
SPEAKING OF WHICH, HERE ARE SOME PRESSING QUESTIONS ABOUT JACKO’S FASCINATING PATERNAL BEHAVIOR: Why did he shroud his dangling son’s head in that thing—to protect him from germs, hide the fact that he’s white, or keep his nose on? And in another insane PR move, why did he drag two of his kids to the zoo swathed in headwraps the very next day? Was it an act of fashion, spirituality, or punishment—and by the way, doesn’t he have a zoo at home? And, most importantly, shouldn’t these kids be instantly snatched away and given to someone normal, like Liza Minnelli?
PANIC IN THE YEAR ’02: After attempts at pre-9-11 intelligence failed, the government became determined to tell us every terrorist tip that crossed their desk, whether real or imagined, specific or vague. Over the Memorial Day weekend, we were alternately advised to avoid restaurants, banks, malls, and Europe (though Dubya was there), and to even look out for shady scuba divers. We did—and ended up slipping on bars of soap at home!
GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE DROUGHT: At least the terrorists couldn’t poison our water system.
SPAM DILEMMA: I’ve finally made peace with all the mortgage, Viagra, printer cartridge, septic tank, and “Wanna work at home?” e-mails, but who the fuck sold my name to the company that sends out the ones about a girl screwing her daddy and a goat? I am so not interested, I swear.
I ALSO HATE: Pop-up messages that say, “Put an end to pop-up messages.”
AND IF E-MAIL IS SUCH A GREAT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE: Why does it take an extra hour out of my day just to rummage through the crap and delete them all?
WEIRDEST GIMMICK: Broadway musicals (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Amour) and movies (an upcoming one I won’t name) ending with a quick, out-of-nowhere same-sex coupling, usually for the giddy, shticky curtain call. This is very cute and gets an easy rise out of the audience, though it’s generally a way of saying, “We’re so cool—but not cool enough to actually incorporate anything substantially gay into the main plot.”
MISS CLEO PREDICTS THE FUTURE IN ‘GYPSY’: Bernadette Peters—who really should be playing Baby June—will redefine the monstrous Mama Rose as someone kinda adorable, and critics will wet themselves. Then Reba McEntire will take over, playing Rose as kinda adorable but full of down-home spunk and sass. Critics will double-orgasm. After that, Crystal Bernard?
TONY AWARDS TRAGEDY: Urinetown lost for Best Musical, despite winning score, book, and director, mainly because a lot of the stodgy voters felt, “I couldn’t get past the title.” They’re so full of shit.
CHURCH OF THE POISONED BEHIND: Shock jocks Opie and Anthony were pulled off the air after featuring a blow-by-blow account of a couple having sex at Saint Patrick’s. The church was expectedly outraged—probably because it was two adults engaging in a consensual act. Ba-dum-pum.
UMA-OPRAH: Enron. ImClone. Iman. Enya. Oman. Oh, wow.