The cuckoo movie of the week is The Day After Tomorrow, which is about the real problem terrorizing the world today—the weather! Not since SLY STALLONE‘s arm-wrestling epic have I been so not worked up by a film’s subject matter. “Just use an umbrella!” you want to yell at the screen (and when the characters burn books to stay warm, you want to screech, “No! Give them to the screenwriters!”). Actually, Tomorrow has spectacular effects, though the tornado must have blown away most of the script. The clichéd characters—the cancer boy reading Peter Pan, the homeless black guy who eats out of the garbage—are barely established before the Northern Hemisphere starts getting devastated by giant ice cubes. At least when Hollywood gets creamed early on, you have good reason to cheer.
Of the embarrassed-looking cast members, DENNIS The Alamo QUAID is especially ludicrous as the “climatologist” who has to say stuff like, “We’re talking about a global realignment. The earth’s atmosphere will restabilize, but with a temperature approximating the last ice age!” After that, you’re torn between feeling the film is grossly exploitive of 9-11, with Gotham landmarks pelted as New Yorkers run for their lives, and cheering when the administration is presented as a bunch of doofs who were asleep at the wheel about the threat of terrorism, I mean, you know, the environment. Suddenly the flick becomes an ultra-liberal allegory that could have been cannily dreamed up by the love child of ’70s disaster-meister Irwin Allen and MICHAEL MOORE. Alas, when doleful-eyed JAKE GYLLENHAAL finds a pay phone that works—after a devastating tsunami, yet—the giggles become uncontrollable, and, to quote Quaid, “I think we’ve hit a critical desalinization point.”
Any chance that we might mistake the film’s dire global warnings for anything more serious than “Ice Ice Baby” was shattered by the premiere’s cutely shticky fake snow that spewed in our faces as we ran, slipping all the way, down the red carpet. In the crowd, audience member JOHN STOSSEL‘s murmurs went from “Now that’s moviemaking!” to “Ridiculous!” But ROBIN QUIVERS re-injected politics into the event by saying that if DUBYA‘s re-elected, “I’ll move to an island where they don’t have any designs on me.” For me, that’s Manhattan.
While the prez was asleep at the wheel of his bike—allegedly—we huddled indoors at MICHAEL JORDAN‘s steakhouse to watch a v.v. lively The Week-sponsored panel about the battle for “decency” in the media, hosted by TINA BROWN‘s hubby, HAROLD EVANS. Creating its own storm of commentary, the panel of motherfucking caca-stained spooge-loving fucktards was delightfully intelligent and sane. What the hell is obscene? they were asked. “It’s an obscenity that you invade a country for no reason!” shrieked marvy motormouth ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, a one-woman ice tornado. But what about JANET JACKSON‘s nor’easter-causing dimpled dumpling? Please, said comic BILL MAHER, “It was one half-a-second blurry black tit.” (Evans, who was sardonically wielding a whistle the whole time, blew the dickens out of it on that one.) After some rants and recriminations from the other team, the whole shebang-bang climaxed with Maher saying those Iraqi prison torture pix were “a huge pile of hairy man-ass—they’re so ‘Over-the-Rainbow’- Will–&–Grace gay. I don’t think RUMSFELD should step down, I think he should come out!” Whistle!
I might have to stay in after some of the other crazy events that have cluttered my date book with not nearly enough man-ass. The weirdest was a party in rich person HENRY BUHL‘s Soho loft for a Swatch watch adorned with a Helmut Newton photo of a naked woman. The woman’s supple dumplings were at two o’clock, a hint of dubya was at six, and her manicured hands were resting in the middle. “Henry Buhl is the world’s foremost collector of photos with hands,” cooed a representative as I demurely ogled the displayed watch, not really noticing the hands. “Do you like it?” he added. Awkward pause; I hate having to give on-the-spot critiques, especially of snatchy Swatches. “I prefer dick,” I deadpanned, oh so wittily. Scared silence. A queen in the corner nervously giggled. Obscenity! Next party.
At a quarter to clam pie, I emceed a posh Broadway-type benefit and obscenely got to observe all the backstage dramatizing and manicured hand-wringing. The “middle sex” guy from Bombay Dreams (again, I prefer you know) was in a minor snit about the song he was asked to perform, saying, “It’s too similar to what I did last time. It’s another gay song!” The talented LIZA lady from Boy From Oz was set to belt a BARBRA tune but said she wouldn’t want to ever play Babs. (“Another living legend? I’d kill myself.”) And ANDREA MCARDLE, who started out as adorable little Annie, admitted she was off to Houston to play Mama Rose in Gypsy! For synchronicity’s sake, BERNADETTE PETERS should next play Annie. I always thought she should anyway.
SURRENDER THE PINK
More Broadway mania sings out, Louise, with JIM CARUSO‘s Monday night Cast Party, now bedazzling STEVEN MINICHIELLO‘s Pink Room at Club Black in a sort of lavender-blue-dilly-dilly way. The bash has rabid theater folk, accompanied by BILLY STRITCH, belting tunes from Wicked, Millie, and workshops of Kafka musicals, and no one gripes, “It’s another gay song.” And the Pink Room is so pink it could be the basis for a Helmut Newton Swatch. Queer Eye‘s CARSON KRESSLEY liked it, saying, “Can there ever be too much pink? It’s like Barbie’s Dream House!”—though he was mainly there because he’d come for a doggie fashion show and had wandered upstairs.
At a quarter to available, I wandered into a press junket to Greenport for the opening of the Harborfront Inn, the first luxury hotel on Long Island’s winery-laden North Fork, belch. The idea is to bring some class to a part of the island that’s not the Hamptons, and since I don’t get invited to the Hamptons, I gladly went. Amazingly, the weather was chilly—we’re talking about a global realignment—but the town’s sweet, with kitsch stores and a carousel instead of the Hamptons’ overcrowded nightclubs and ridiculously priced designer boutiques. It might make it anyway. End of whinery tour. Don’t forget your galoshes.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAG QUEENS
A middle-sex (or actually cross-dressing) geisha is one of the treats in the upcoming samurai chozzerai The Blind Swordsman: Zat-oichi, but even more eyes will be on Yokohama hottie TADANOBU ASANO as a sword-carrying sourpuss. At the film’s Japan Society premiere, I asked Asano—who flacks have pegged as Japan’s JOHNNY DEPP—if he’d ever go Hollywood. “Of course there is no reason to refuse if such interest occurs,” he said, politely, “but I don’t want to forget my roots.” Neither, I’m quite sure, would the gorgeously coiffed drag queen.
Downtown, the middle sex ruled at the 10th-anniversary bash of the glam-drag-rock event Squeezebox at Don Hill’s, where, I hear, BOY GEORGE and the TOILET BOYS’ MISS GUY un-corked their new Bowie-esque tune called “Stay Away From Pretty Boys,” and even more beautifully, KATE MOSS came with new beau JOHNNY KNOXVILLE—a true collision of Obsession meets Jackass. Alas, COURTNEY LOVE couldn’t be roused to make it and CHRISSIE HYNDE reportedly looked in, decided there was no air, and went home. But SEAN LENNON showed and sang along to rock vet JAYNE COUNTY‘s songs. “I’m glad to see he has such bad taste,” exults County.