After a special Tribeca Cinemas screening of The Devil Wears Prada (which I’ll dissect with pinking shears next week), there was a panel discussion titled “Mentor or Monster: The Boss That Changed My Life”—or perhaps just “Summer Wishes, Wintour Nightmares.” The Star‘s editor in chief, JOE DOLCE, said that for him the life-changing boss was Wintour herself; he worked for the fashion queen at Vogue for 90 days that were as uncomfortable a fit as a 10-year-old tux. “From the first day, when I walked into the office with no windows,” he said, “I knew I was in trouble. I was pitching her story after story and she was rejecting every one of them. Then she looked at me and said, ‘Must you chew gum?’ I was quitting smoking! The assistant found out about this conversation and immediately everyone in the building knew that JOE DOLCE was chewed out for chewing gum.” Still, Dolce admires Wintour’s talent and feels that unlike the Prada movie, “the book was obviously written by someone who didn’t know anything because she only saw the facade—she didn’t know what it took [to do that job].” And besides that, “Nobody has a legendary reputation for being nice.” Fuck you, gum-wad! Fuck all of you cretins! I certainly do!
HBO had a nicey-nice screening and Le Cirque dinner for Boffo!: Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters, which explores the thin line between, say, The Silence of the Lambs and the loudness of the duck (you know, Howard). While chewing gum and smoking, I watched the documentary’s chattering heads and way preferred JODIE FOSTER admitting that she’s eaten alive by her failures than NIA VARDALOS bragging about how she fabulously broke all the rules. And you can tell everyone in the building about it.
At the event, I asked the film’s director, BILL COUTURIÉ, if the difference between a hit and a complete dog is often something less tangible than, say, my sex appeal. “Yes,” he responded. “SYDNEY POLLACK told me, ‘I’ve made big hits and I’ve made big bombs and I can’t tell the difference.’ Sydney said he loves [his gigunda flop] Havana, and if he had the same script and the same actors, he’d make it all over again.” “God, I hope not!” I blurted. “Me too!” said Couturié, laughing.
The new Le Cirque sequel? It’s an airy dome that surrounds you with brown panels, yellow crepe curtains, pictures of monkeys, and women with tight necks. The staff is so eager to please that they raced off to get me the menu on command, unaware that I had actually said, “Is this the main room?” They’re so fired!
But let’s go off to a metaphorical side room and spill some scattered thoughts about various junk: You want to know a potentially career-destroying tidbit about gay-porn guy MICHAEL LUCAS? He once had sex with a woman! Namely SAVANNA SAMSON! But it was in a bathroom, so it’s OK . . . WINONA RYDER is extremely brave. In the wildly stimulating roto-scope flick A Scanner Darkly, her character’s very first line has to do with her having been accused of stealing . . . In the arena of flamboyantly bitter gay men in women’s bodies, I can’t decide which withering snapdragon with a cable show I prefer—KATHY “D-List” GRIFFIN or JANICE “the Mouth” DICKINSON. Let them battle it out in piles of mud . . . Did OPRAH WINFREY really tell NY1 that her favorite writer is “Michael Nichols”? Didn’t she really mean MIKE NICHOLS, who mainly directs? At least she didn’t say JAMES FREY . . . By any name, it’s not true that LIZA MINNELLI is going to do a re-creation of RUFUS WAINWRIGHT‘s re-creation of Judy Garland’s Carnegie Hall concert . . . By the way, Liza’s friend JASON DREW called to thank me for his mention and to laughingly say, “I haven’t been a twink in 20 years!”
Call me a skank, but it seems I was right in predicting that PARIS HILTON‘s music would not destroy the modern world after all. You’ll remember I covered the upcoming CD for Out magazine and noted that, while it doesn’t delve into topics any more profound than dancing on tables, backstabbing, and trashing around, it’s exactly what you’d want from a slumming socialite’s CD, and it’s more fun than blowing Bazooka bubbles at Anna Wintour.
The tracks, if you care, are as follows: The hit single “Stars Are Blind” is a surprisingly haunting, reggae-flavored tune; “Turn U On” comes off like a PUSSYCAT DOLLS–type sexathon; “Not Leaving Without You” is a peppy dancehall anthem (“Don’t ask me for my number, ’cause my number’s undercover”); “Are You With It?” has Paris whispering, “Do I turn you on? I think I do. So come and get it”; “Screwed” (get the double entendre?) sounds angstily AVRIL LAVIGNE–ish; “Jealousy” has her getting back at NICOLE RICHIE for being a total snatch; and the sole cover song, naturally, is the faithfully remade disco dish “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” The brunt of the songs involve how incredibly hot Paris is and how she either is or isn’t giving it away. While the details of the record sound moronic, the net effect can be devilishly entertaining. Grammy award? No. Dancefloor reward? Probably.
Meanwhile, my support goes out to dance artist KEVIN AVIANCE, whose recent gay bashing sent shock waves through clubland and beyond. The press response has been immediate and awesome. But it’s sad that they all left out any mention of his best song: “Cunty”! (By the way, the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project helped organize the recent march protesting hate crimes. They’ve come a long way from when I met with them because I was being harrassed and stalked and the counselor said, “Are you sure you’re not just imagining this?”)
Speaking of omissions, last week’s column (in the paper) somehow shed its final line like a movie star with a Botox needle. After saying how gay the Tonys were, I noted that the big prize went to Jersey Boys, “a show about straight people.” Then came the part that disappeared: “But they sing falsetto.”
Wait, maybe the awards weren’t so gay. I’m still haunted by the Sweeney Todd nominee who, when his name was announced, pointed to the guy next to him and mouthed “my brother!” Could that have been so you didn’t think “his boyfriend”? Nah.
Still boyfriends with MARC JACOBS, personable JASON PRESTON tells me that the magazine interview Jacobs gave saying they split—which I quoted from last week—was done a while ago and a day later they were back together again. And still are. So he won’t be adding “I don’t heart” to his Marc Jacobs tattoo anytime soon.
Cunning linguist MARGA GOMEZ hearts everyone, not just los big names. She recused herself from being a judge in MURRAY HILL‘s hilarious Miss LEZ pageant the other night, supposedly because she’d been intimate with at least one of the contestants. Instead, she wangled her way into presenting Miss Congeniality—not to herself—”and I still got drink tickets,” she told the crowd, beaming.
One of the least savory nightlife acts in a while consisted of two guys—a nerdy professor and his sweaty accomplice—trolling the clubs to round up cute guys for their after-hours house parties. The accomplice—let’s call him Groundhog Day—either has had a head injury, is on drugs, or is just repetitive; he’ll say hello 10 times in one night, clearly forgetting what happened just five seconds earlier. But he’s outgoing and unrepentantly pestered people to come to the bashes—paid for by the enabling professor, who’s straight out of Of Human Bondage—which were squalidly festive affairs, with lots of people crowding into the bathroom for God knows what cultural endeavor. I avoided this whole situation like rabies, and sure enough Bondage is now calling everyone to say I was right, seeing as Groundhog Day just did a Winona and walked off with Bondage’s laptop and ATM card (after punching holes in the wall) and probably wasn’t such a nice person after all. Wasn’t such a nice person after all. Wasn’t such a nice person after all.
YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK
But gangway, world, get off of my runway—I have one more graph in me! LIZ SMITH reported last week that a new movie of the ultimate showbiz musical, Gypsy, might star CATHERINE ZETA-JONES. I think that’s genius. (Then again, I liked the Paris Hilton CD.) Totally for free, I will now supply the rest of the casting that would make this project camp-aliciously complete: MICHAEL DOUGLAS as Herbie (duh), DAKOTA FANNING as Dainty June (double duh), her younger sister, ELLE FANNING, as Baby June (hello), the aforementioned Pussycat Dolls as the strippers (and maybe throw Paris and PAMELA LEE in there too), and LINDSAY LOHAN as Gypsy. (Well, she was almost going to do the BERNADETTE PETERS version on Broadway! Here’s her chance!) I only pray they remove the one bad song. Come on, let’s have the silence of the “Little Lamb.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 13, 2006