Friday, January 12, 2018

There’s no law against having fun

From Jayne Mansfield's globes to the Golden Globes — somebody's gonna be falling out of her dress, no matter what ...
by Denis Ferrara
Nick and Demi, sittin' in a tree? Also: Paul Rudd ... Renee Zellweger ... "La Mante" and a few final notes on the Golden Globes.

“BE YOURSELF; everyone else is already taken,” said Oscar Wilde.
THE RUMOR began on Radar, drifted over to D-Listed, and now the subject of Demi Moore and Nick Jonas dating is a trending topic — a trending topic so far not acknowledged in any way by the 55-year-old actress or the 25-year-old pop star.
I’m all for it.  After splitting from Bruce Willis in 2000, Moore has gravitated toward younger men, even marrying one, Ashton Kutcher, in 2005, and dating a few since their divorce.  Nick, aside from being an admirably hot number seems a very mature 25. (He was just adorable on the Golden Globes red carpet, as a songwriting nominee — he composed “Home” for the animated film, “Ferdinand.”) This is one of those I-hope-it’s-true nuggets, because they both seem to be nice people and there’s no law against having fun. 
The troika in Vanity Fair, June 2007.
I’ve never met Jonas — a fact that eats away at my heart every day — but I did have several pleasant encounters with Moore.  One was back in ’96, at the New York premiere of “Striptease.”  It was difficult to get close to Moore that night at the Rainbow Room, but she was very accommodating if one managed to break through the press reps — everybody was nervous because of nature of the film and her then-record salary. (Her hair was already cut close to her scalp for her next movie “G.I. Jane.”) 
I actually had a more significant encounter that night with hubby Bruce Willis, who had also done something creative with his hair; he’d gone blond for his role in “The Fifth Element.”  I’d seen a lot of photos of him, and was impressed.  I found Bruce somewhat apart from the crowd around his wife, sitting and not being bothered by anybody.  Except me.  I introduced myself and mentioned Liz Smith, who he liked very much, we chatted and then I told him that his going blond had encouraged me to do the same.  He gave a very amused glance at my aggressively platinum locks and wished me luck.  (Notably he did not say, “Looks good!”)
Several years later I sat with Demi and Ashton at an after-party celebration for one of his movies.  They had not yet married and were clearly besotted with one another.  The 13-year age gap was not at all noticeable.  Both were relaxed and candid, and more than ever I was struck by the husky power of her voice. It seemed not only to emanate from her, but filled the small corner in which we sat, so that I kept checking to see if she was somehow hooked up to surround sound speakers. She had — and I assume still has — a compelling presence.  She knocked me out, and Ashton was ga-ga.

If Ms. Moore and Mr. Jonas are indeed a couple, more power to them.
Moore was seen last year on the TV series “Empire.”  She has not lost her allure.  And a feature, shot in India, about sex trafficking, “Love, Sonia” is in post production.  She works when she wants and seems just fine with that.  I just wish she wanted to work more. But if she’s dating Nick Jonas, who needs work?

... ON January 22nd, ageless and adorable Paul Rudd will host the 6th Annual All-Star Bowling Benefit.  This happens at Lucky Strike, on West 42nd Street at Twelfth Ave. 7:00 p.m.  This event benefits The Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY). There will be a cocktail reception and — naturally — bowling. Other celebs expected include Mariska Hargitay, Justin Long, Michael Shannon, Richard Kind, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and at least a dozen more.  Call 212-414-9696.
... Renee Zellweger is busy researching all things Judy Garland, preparing for her role as the fabulous actress/singer in “Judy” a biopic centering around Garland’s last few years. (Not a happy time for Judy, and I wonder over the exploitive aspects of this, but — I trust Renee, one of the world’s nicest people.)  She has yet to approach Judy’s equally fabulous daughter, Liza Minnelli, but wants to.  “I really think I have to do that!” she told The Hollywood Reporter’s Chris Gardner. Well, Liza is also one of the world’s nicest people, and they share an appealing vulnerability.  They should get on very well.
... Yesterday, before heading out to the premiere of Trudie Styler’s new movie “Freak Show” (more on that Monday) I binge watched a French mini-series on Netflix titled “La Mante” (The Mantis). Wow!  Grisly serial murders, imprisoned enigmatic mama, screwed up progeny of said imprisoned mama, unrelenting tension and twisty twists.  Loved it.  Have never seen or heard of the three major actors — Fred Testot, Pascal Demolon or The Mantis herself, Carole Bouquet, but all were superb.  And now I’ll keep an eye out for another series Ms. Bouquet starred in, “Spin,” which ran two years and was apparently France’s answer to our “House of Cards.”
Carole Bouquet and Fred Testot in “La Mante.”
A LOT of interesting responses to our thoughts on the Golden Globes.  Most people were approving.  Some were not.  One email was slugged, ominously, “You’re losing me!”  And another colorfully suggested that this space was now a “must avoid.”  I was not, I was informed, “lovingly snarky” like Liz Smith, but “almost downright mean.”  Okay — I’ll stop referring to Susan Sarandon as an idiot!  One reader begged for a more “benign” entertainment.  I looked back on what I’ve done so far and found plenty of that, but I really can’t help commenting now and then on what’s happening in the world.  As to the Globes, I certainly didn’t insist everybody wear black!  I don’t even understand that choice — black is the color of mourning, of endings, of sadness. 

However, I was cheered to realize that not one single person, whether they approve of me or not, thinks it’s a good idea for Oprah Winfrey to run for president.  Nobody. At. All.  And as for those who do, remember this:  Oprah is responsible for foisting two of the most unpalatable men on earth, on us — Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. 

And somebody thinks it’s a good idea for her to run the country?  Please, Democrats, sanity.

One final word on the Globes.  I checked out, on IMDB, Blanca Blanco, the previously unknown actress who wore what appeared to be a red scarf, glued strategically to parts of her body at the otherwise all-black gala.  She’s done a lot of low budget films, including something called “Showgirls 2: Pennies From Heaven.” Her next film — one of them — is “Ovid and the Art of Love,” described as a “modern retelling of the famed ancient poet’s life set in contemporary Detroit.”  And they say art is dead.  According to her IMDB bio, she does a lot of humanitarian work. 

Ms. Blanco, who was born in California, is 36 years old. Even if it had been a normal GG night, her barely there dress would have caused a stir.  Now, all one has to do is type in the first four letters of her name, and her image is up and running. 
Blanca arriving ...
A crass publicity stunt?  Of course!  I was reminded fondly of the good old days of Jayne Mansfield and Edy Williams.  (I also thought of Cher and Nicolas Cage toward the end of  “Moonstruck.”  He says, “In time you’ll see that this is the best thing, Loretta.”  She replies, “In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress!”  That should have been the spirit, and the color, of the Globes.)   
Edy hogging the red carpet ...
As for real stardom, well, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins is unlikely to hire Blanca.  But if Joe Eszterhas and Paul Verhoeven want to reteam and do a real sequel to “Showgirls,” there’s a lady in red who’ll definitely take your call.

Contact Liz here.