Thursday, January 3, 2013

LIZ SMITH: A Man and a Woman ...

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee in Claude Lelouch's “A Man and a Woman."
Kim Kardashian's Baby. Rosemary's Baby? Nah — Satan is Afraid of the Kardashians.
Jennifer Aniston Happy and Not Pregnant ... Jessica Simpson, Expecting Another and Expanding her ... Musical Range. "A Man and a Woman" Remake For Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway? ... "Moonstruck" Sequel? (Can Cher Un-Glam and Get Real Again?)

by Liz Smith

“I’M NOT having any morning sickness yet.”

So Kim Kardashian assures her public, on the matter of her three months along pregnancy, courtesy of boyfriend Kanye West. Kim sounds a little regretful that things are so easy for her right now. If it makes you feel any better Kim, millions are sick to their stomach for you.

Kim is not quite divorced from athlete Kris Humphries, but what the hell, everything old is new again. Ingrid Bergman did all this back in 1949. Of course Ingrid’s pregnancy led to her being condemned on the floor of the United States Congress and being banned, essentially, from the U.S. for a decade.

We are much more enlightened now. Nobody is going to ban Kim Kardashian from America for ten years. Read it and weep.
Ingrid Bergman on the set of Stromboli.
SPEAKING OF pregnancy, Jennifer Aniston is not. At least she sure didn’t look it over Christmas, sunning herself in warmer climes wearing a teeny bikini. This is good news for everybody who insists on making Aniston an unhappy woman — as if bearing children is still the only way for a woman to be fulfilled and happy.

Aniston was accompanied on her holiday jaunt with fiance Justin Theroux. He was photographed shirtless, in tight shorts. Jennifer Aniston has nothing to be unhappy about!

Jessica Simpson's Tweeted baby bump.
And still more baby news. Jessica Simpson, as you know, is pregnant with her second child, only a couple of months after delivering her first. This happy news has seemingly enraged those in the cyberworld who are apparently obsessed with her weight. (Jessica famously lost many post pregnancy pounds on Weight Watchers. Now, naturally, she’ll be gaining again.) What’s the deal here? She is a young woman, age 32, in the prime of her childbearing years. She wants a family. She has plenty of money to support her children. She looks radiant. Let her be, for heaven’s sake.

But aside from Miss Simpson’s obvious fertility, she is also eager to make music again. She did start out as a singer, though she has made her fortune in retail clothing and accessories. Jessica is reportedly in talks with great producer Quincy Jones. She wants to reinvent her sound, from country-ish to R&B and soul singer.

Jessica doesn’t want to abandon her country roots, but she knows she’s overdue for a musical makeover. One of Jessica’s meetings with Quincy happened at her favorite Sherman Oaks eatery, The Valley Inn. (This is the spot where she once huddled, not inconspicuously with Warren Beatty. They discussed politics.)

What or who does Jessica want to sound like? She’s talking '80’s-style Madonna with horns, great songs, great hooks. Excellent. It’s also the direction Madonna herself should return to. Even The Big M’s most ardent fans are weary of her techno-sound. (Though her “MDNA” album delivered up some smashing music, nevertheless.)
REMAKES! Sequels!Creativity is hard to come by, in almost any profession. But the movie industry’s lack of original ideas is more painfully obvious — the repetitiveness is right up there on thousands of big screens. And the word “reboot” has entered the film world lexicon.

Now comes word, from our guy with his ear to the walls of studios everywhere — Hal Lifson — that two of the most famous screen love stories ever are being looked at again.

One is 1966’s dreamy “A Man and a Woman” directed by Claude Lelouch. This was a tale of two people who had recently lost their spouses; they meet by chance at their children’s boarding school and fall in love, despite the poignant, painful memories of their mutual loss.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee played the wary lovers. Not only was the film critically acclaimed and a big hit, the Frances Lai score was heard endlessly, and even Miss Aimee’s hairstyle suddenly became the rage. In 1986 Trintignant and Aimee reprised their roles in “A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later,” to considerably less impact.

A 20th Century Fox project remake of the original is now “in the works.” (This means six writers and five producers are wrangling and maybe two directors have been approached.)

And whose names are being floated to star? Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck, both at the top of their individual game this year. (She for “Les Miserables” he for “Argo.”)

It sounds like it could turn into a typical American rom-com, but who knows?
FINALLY, IT’S been rumored for years that writer John Patrick Shanley has been working on a sequel to 1987’s “Moonstruck,” the delightful film that won Cher her Oscar. (In truth, almost everyone in the film deserved an award — it is one of the great ensemble movies ever.)

The sequel would show Loretta and Ronny (Nic Cage) as grandparents whose tempestuous love has cooled. I’d hate to have my memories of the original distorted by a sequel, but in Shanley’s hands it might come off. Cher has rather “glammed” her way out of the movie biz — she looks too youthful to be cast as her own age. But maybe she could be persuaded to let down her guard — and her maquillage.

Because underneath all that is a very good, appealing, real actress.

Contact Liz Smith here.

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