Not long ago, I scored a gigantic hit with a column telling a myriad of celebrities what they needed to do to get back on track and not be so overall annoying. Well, as much as I’m jonesing to dole out yet more unsolicited advice to sad stars, I’m a little tired of preaching to the perverted—and besides, I’d rather stretch my creative muscles and engage in the flip side of this game. This time I’d like to congratulate celebrities—the ones who don’t need makeovers, shakedowns, interventions, or even congratulations. After thinking about it for several weeks, I even managed to come up with a few names. And so my bravos go to:
Lindsay Lohan: Yes, perhaps you are fully loaded, but there’s way too much lip-smacking about that in the press, and what gets lost is that you’re effortlessly charming on-screen and have been a slick, capable star ever since you played twins, and even before that as Alexandra “Alli” Fowler #3 on Another World. I value you as an actor even as I devour you as a good-copy machine. You’re welcome. Now go home.
Glenn Close: I’m thrilled you’re getting to re-create your Norma Desmond in the movie version of Sunset Boulevard the musical. (I’m still mad about Merman and Gypsy.) You belt a love song to a monkey like no one since MICHAEL JACKSON. And you’ve royally earned your niche—playing off-putting yet somehow dignified grizzled old bitches. You terrify me, which is high praise indeed. In fact, no one scares me more except that adorable little DAKOTA FANNING.
Ewan McGregor: Some critics said your singing in the London production of Guys and Dolls reeks of la postnasal drip, but you sounded terrific in Moulin Rouge, so try to remember what you did while recording that and kindly do it again when you set down the tracks opposite Glenn for Sunset Boulevard. And if not, who cares? You’re damned cute and so is your clone.
Madonna: Your save-the-world speech at Live 8 was followed by your icily telling the band, “Come on, go!” Millions found the moment appalling, but hey, it was time for them to start already. I love that you amazingly still manage to shock and awe and irritate the bejesus out of people. To those who are taken aback by women of a certain age who let it hang in intimidating ways, I say “Come on, go!”
Demi Moore: You’re also scoring big time as an older broad—one who’s found a steaming plate of hot chicken and won’t let go of it. Why should you? He’s not just a boy toy or a cheap PR stunt; he’s clearly your cosmic twin and quite a dish too. Keep ignoring the cheap jokes and continue to focus on the intensity of your bond and he’ll stay on the leash. In fact, keep doing everything you’ve been doing—just don’t ever let him see Indecent Proposal or The Scarlet Letter or Striptease or G.I. Jane or . . .
Here’s where the column takes a sharp turn
Fabian Basabe and Paris Hilton: So you both have a problem with African Americans? You pampered, powder-white, “It”-person morons. Get to the back of the gift bag line! Oops, I’m supposed to be doling out kudos. Back to the lovin’:
Sandra Bullock: I’ve always sensed you were way more than just JULIA ROBERTS lite, and you proved me right with your harrowing performance in Crash (and by nabbing a man who wasn’t attached to someone else). It’s never too soon for tired columnists to start beating the Oscar tom-toms, so I’m shouting it out now: If my girl Sandra doesn’t get a Supporting Actress nomination, I will not attend the Oscars, even if invited.
Suzanne Somers: By now you’ve no doubt turned your massacre by Broadway critics into a gift. Brava!
Sienna Miller: Cheers for supposedly dumping the lawless JUDE LAW (though you never should have been wearing a modern engagement ring in a Shakespeare play anyway). Once a cheater, always a schnook, and even if he didn’t ever stray again, the lingering doubt would hover over your boudoir like a cumulus cloud of icky cocky doody. Sure, LIZ HURLEY forgave HUGH GRANT and that relationship ended up lasting some guilty time longer, but that doesn’t really count because DIVINE BROWN wasn’t half the skank DAISY WRIGHT is. She’s a regular Mary Trampins, a veritable chim-chim-cher-rude slag. Sadie should have known it’s better to just strap the kids down and leave them for a while than ever risk having a nanny around. Nannies are the devil’s rejects, even worse than babysitters who throw the kids against the wall, if not quite as awful as scummy, cheating menfolk. Just ask ROBIN WILLIAMS, who left his missus for his kid’s nanny and who also played a nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire— one Jude Law would probably even consider shagging. Men are evil, Sienna. Go lesbo and I’ll love you even more!
Brangelina: Ignore everything I just said. A little adultery can actually be useful once in a while, as long as it’s covert, emotionless, and doesn’t interrupt heaping servings of the main course. So couldn’t you two have just had a fling on the side? Did you have to throw everything away for a little of the old in-and-out? Have you never heard of surreptitious weekend action in the woods? Yikes, I feel another relapse coming on. Forget all that—you’re doing fine, kids. Go ahead and enjoy your disruptive sex making. But just don’t cheat on the side!
Smells like team spirit
Gus Van Sant: Congrats, I guess, on having the three balls to make such a nihilistic slice of nihilistic nihilism as Last Days, mutter mutter, scratch scratch, mutter snort keel. And kudos to me for now preparing to so cleverly hijack the entire thesis of this column (the way Brangelina tried to do in the last graph) and turn it into a straightforward report on the premiere.
And so: Before the screening started, I smirkily asked Sonic Youth’s THURSTON MOORE—Last Days‘ music consultant—if the film’s torture, as a few critics so rudely claimed. “Completely!” Moore responded. “It’s beautiful torture! I love when MICHAEL PITT is nodding out while a BOYZ II MEN video is playing—in full.” (Yikes—that’s Abu Ghraib-level abuse.)
Before I submitted to the film’s languid, splotchy trance, I asked Van Sant if it was true that Brad Pitt once approached him to do a Kurt Cobain flick. “Yes,” Van Sant said, dryly. “But I thought ‘a biopic?’ Then after a little while I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll do a different kind of film. Maybe it should be more obscure.’ ” And I guess that included using a more obscure Pitt.
Hey, didn’t Van Sant ask COURTNEY LOVE to play herself in that earlier version? (My spies say she politely declined.) “I heard that too!” the auteur deadpanned, with confirming eyes. Well, let’s pin a pretty ribbon of congratulations on my reportorial ass!
Secrets and thighs
Producer BURT DUBROW is developing an updated version of I’ve Got a Secret for the Game Show Network, this time with an all-gay panel. I sadly had to decline a panel seat because I’m straight—kidding; it was because I’ve got a secret, and it’s that I have a phobia about sizable out-of-town commitments. I can assure you, though, that they’re rising above that—way above that—and are preparing a saucy, sassy romp.
Wait, I’ve got more secrets. Book agent DAVID KUHN plays another kind of deal maker—an auctioneer—in the upcoming culture-clash flick June-bug . . . At Au Coin du Feu, rocker mom BEBE BUELL and fox.com’s ROGER FRIEDMAN were buzzing about collaborating on a hush-hush project . . . Not so quietly, a makeup artist has been running around town screaming that when he was making up TERI HATCHER‘s face recently, the Desperate Housewives star diva-esquely tried to direct him at it. The mascara man countered, “Honey, you act, I do makeup. If you knew how to do it, why’d you ask for a makeup artist?” Ever the lady, Hatcher promptly acquiesced.
A whole bunch of broads, JIMMY JAMES does vocal impressions of all the great stars plus MACY GRAY in his Divas Are Forever show at Helen’s. Versatile Jimmy even talks and says BOY GEORGE wouldn’t let him use a duet they’d recorded, so he simply stole the track. I guess that constitutes yet another impression—WINONA RYDER.
Finally, AMY GRANT will do an impression of God in the upcoming reality show Three Wishes, which plans to make all sorts of daffy dreams come true. I hear producers are encouraging gays to submit their ideas, so go ahead, tell them what you want: A cure for meth mouth? Sainthood for Kylie? An end to reality shows?