MONDAY, February 19 2018
“ALL THINGS in life are a mingling of bitterness and joy; war has its delights, and marriage its alarms” said La Fontaine.
APPARENTLY, the alarm bell rang for Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux after about two years of marriage. (They have been a couple for seven years.) That’s a more than respectable amount of time for a Hollywood relationship—or any relationship, these days. Especially one that doesn’t involve upsetting children and one in which both parties have plenty of money.
I have to admit, this came as a surprise. I tend to ignore the glossy magazines that endlessly predict doom for couples before they even take the vows. (I tip my hat to Henry Higgins!) So, if US or People or InTouch were doling out tales of unhappiness, I never saw them. Apparently, all is amicable between Jen and Justin.
However, Miss Aniston will now be submerged in ridiculous stories about failing at love (as if Mr. Theroux hasn’t failed as well). And but of course, now that her ex, Brad Pitt is split from Angelina Jolie, we are going to suffer Brad ‘n Jen reconciling stories or—more likely—“Jen Pines for Brad.” Because she’s a woman, she has to pine.
I really don’t think Aniston is the pining type. It was inevitably the press that dragged Pitt’s name into interviews. Jennifer– knowing full well that “I’d rather not go there” would result in “she’s too distraught to even mention his name”–would then give a spare response. That would, of course, lead her to being criticized: “Why does she always have to mention him?” “Why is she such a victim?” There are some things you can’t win. But I think Miss Aniston has been through the fire enough to not let it bother her. (Anyway, she’s got that glowy Aveeno-nourished skin. What, her worry?)
My best to both J and J, whom I like as actors and people, from the little I know of them as people. (It is enough in Mr. Theroux’s case that he wears sweatpants so evocatively, as all who were fans of “The Leftovers” surely recall.)
THIS ‘N THAT:
…“YOU have found me out. How could I hope to deceive you? I have been trying to entrap you, with these (displays shapely arms, and other charms), to bind you with soft chains, so that I may do with you as I will.”
That was Gina Lollobrigida, tempting Yul Brynner in “Solomon and Sheba,” one of the most delicious, hysterical, historically inaccurate Biblical epics of the 1950’s. La Lollo, as the actress was affectionately known around the world was a great beauty, a major international star, and a more than passable actress. She deserves a place in the pantheon if all that survived of her work was “Beat the Devil,” “Trapeze,” “Woman of Straw,” “Go Naked in the World” and “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell” (from which “Mamma Mia!” sprang.) The star has about 60 other feature and TV credits, beginning in 1946—her early work consists of films with titles such as “Woman of Rome,” “Beautiful But Dangerous,” “The Wayward Wife,” “Flesh and the Woman” and “Wife for a Night.” She didn’t play virgins.
Well, finally, whoever decides these things decided that it was time that Gina Lollobrigida–now a vital 90 years young—was imbedded as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Good grief! I couldn’t be happier she has received this honor, but what the hell were they waiting for? When I think of the “stars”—much younger and without Gina’s creds, who are placed in the pavement… Anyway, glad this happened. Now—Give Doris Day an Oscar!!!!! (Oh, come on, you knew I was leading up to that.)
…WOW! The season premiere of “Homeland” knocked me for a loop, and I can’t say the series, now in its seventh season, has knocked me much of anywhere, recently. With the country in the hands of a paranoid, vindictive president–uh, on the show–and plots abounding, the bug-eyed hysteria of Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison made sense to me, finally. (She generally plays Carrie with the subtlety of deep cleavage at a 14th century nunnery.) “This is not me off my meds!” she screamed as her logic was questioned. I had to laugh, because every morning I feel that I need meds to get through a day of news. We are, so many of us, Carrie Mathison now.
I’m loving Elizabeth Marvel as the president, Mandy Patinkin as the often battered and beleaguered Saul (in jail but not likely for long) and even Linus Roache as one of the president’s advisers. (I say “even” because I felt Roache was so ineffectual as ADA Michael Cutter on “Law & Order.” I’m sure it was the way the role was written—and whose idea was it to give Cutter a baseball bat as a prop?)
Anyway, the second episode of “Homeland” has now aired and I hope the quality and tension remain. I’m always tense, why should “Homeland” relax?
…SPEAKING of “Law & Order” what a hot mess “L&O: Special Victims Unit” has turned into. Not only have they gotten rid of Raul Esparza as Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba but the powers also killed off Benjamin Stone, who was the Executive District Attorney in the original first four seasons of “Law & Order.” That role was played by Michael Moriarity, who is, by the way, still very much alive. But, no return cameos for him.
An odd decision—and Barba’s farewell paean to Mariska Hargitay’s Detective/Sergeant/Lieutenant Olivia Benson was embarrassing to behold– but no odder than the show is now.
Overly politicized and politically correct; focusing way too much on the home life (irritating baby Noah) and the dramas of Olivia Benson. (I mean, how many times can she be abducted, attacked, or somehow done wrong by a man?) Ice-T as detective Tutuola remains a blessing and Peter Scanavino as Carisi is solid, sexy and underused. The very good Kelli Giddish (Amanda Rollins) has had her character fall into the Olivia Benson well of children and family issues. It’s become a soap opera.
Before you get me wrong, I really admire Mariska Hargitay, who is the executive producer of the series now, and a longtime, passionate advocate for women. Back in the day, I ran into her and former co-star Chris Meloni at a number of events. They were both extremely nice and unexpectedly wacky and hilarious. They had such great back-and-forth I suggested they do a comedy together. (She has not ventured there. Meloni has, on a number of occasions; currently he is triumphantly off-the-wall in the weird, brilliant “Happy!” series.) And, when I wrote affectionately about Mariska’s mom, the divine Jayne Mansfield, Hargitay called the office to thank us, personally. (Mariska also, very kindly, gave us the exclusive scoop on her pregnancy. Ah, the good old days of “scoops.)
I just think “Law & Order: SVU” should get back to you know, law and order. But hey, fans might still love it. What do I know?
…FINALLY, a memo to Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall: Get the hell off Twitter and Instagram and behave like the very full grown adults you are!
In case you are unaware, Cattrall has made it abundantly clear in interviews that she doesn’t like or consider SJP—as Parker is annoyingly known to intimates—a pal. She (Cattrall) has no intention of doing another “Sex and the City” movie. (For this decision alone, Kim deserves a Nobel Prize in her efforts to save humanity.) So, I’d say, stay away, SJP. Wouldn’t you?
Then, Cattrall’s brother died. Instead of—if the kindness so moved Parker—writing a note (I know, but people still do), sending an email or picking up the phone, SJP expressed her condolences publicly, on Twitter. Naturally, this enraged Cattrall, who fired back explosively, on Twitter.
Ladies—and others—don’t you know by now that this insane obsession to express yourself every day, on every topic, to an audience of perhaps millions is a really bad idea?
I have met and interviewed both Parker and Cattrall. Separately. They were amusing, sensitive–and quite intelligent. Apparently, social media kills brain cells. Stop!
P.S. The cherry on top of this sad and silly sundae was listening to SJP’s dear friend Andy Cohen “explain” the situation on his Sirius radio program. Cohen expresses himself like the reality “stars” he has elevated on his “Housewives” franchise. I don’t think he did his pal SJP any favors—although he is clearly in Camp Parker—but I laughed all the way through. And I sure needed a laugh.