"PLEASE CONTINUE to move at a glacial pace. You know how much that pleases me," said Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada."
On this day after Labor Day, one feels compelled to ponder Miranda -- the monster boss of all bosses -- and her expectations. Did she want slaves or equals? Was she a sadist, a realist or simply a high-powered exec who demanded the very best from her staff?
In the end, most audience members were glad Anne Hathaway got away from the calmly terrifying Meryl. But, Hathaway's unsupportive pals and boyfriend seemed determined to let her down, in her success and her distress. After all, she had a job to do! (This movie grows more interesting and open to debate as the years roll on.)
CLASSY GESTURE and words from former Batman Michael Keaton, who was stopped by paparazzi in L.A. the other night, and said of the controversial casting of Ben Affleck as Gotham City's Big Man -- "Oh, come on. He'll be great!" (This won't be another "Batman" re-boot. Affleck will be part of an ensemble cast for the "Man of Steel" sequel.)
My favorite Batman memory comes not from any of the movies. One day, years ago, I was visiting the set of the "Batman and Robin" movie. I met the adorable Chris O'Donnell, all suited up, but George Clooney was nowhere to be seen. (I didn't know Clooney as well as I do now.) So, after hanging around for a while, my group piled into a car, heading out of the studio. We turned a corner, and there was Mr. Clooney outside his trailer, stripped to the waist, head back, taking some sun.
I was tempted to leap out of the car. But good sense held me back. All I can say is that image remains one of the most beautiful, sexy, stellar moments ever. From top to toe, a real "star" and totally comfortable in his masculinity. And his deck chair.
OK, THE ratings for the Oprah/Lindsay Lohan interview kinda tanked. But Lohan herself seems to be taking it in stride, and taking her sobriety seriously. She's been seen around town, looking good. The only drawback is that the 27-year-old actress still smokes. One day, one addiction at a time, I guess.
IVANA TRUMP has reportedly reunited with her former beau, Rossano Rubicondi. That's-a nice. But who knew Rossano -- who is no kid -- actually has his own band?
I read this in Joan Jedell's glossy Hampton Sheet. Joan got the word from PR woman Catherine Saxon who told Jedell that Rossano performed at a Saint-Tropez soiree at Pan Dei Palais. Ivana was as overcome with pride and -- whatever -- as any little Justin Bieber fan.
MAYBE THAT's the solution for Michael Douglas and his Catherine Zeta-Jones? Perhaps a night banging the drums or a few romantic songs crooned onstage might bring this couple back together?
APPARENTLY, my columns on Miley Cyrus and the VMA show caused a little stir out there in twitter-land. I did receive a number of notes. One man said he was Madonna's age and "even back then," he disdained her tendency to shock -- "people with talent don't have to do that!" He considered both Miley and Madonna bereft of talent. Another writer complimented me for putting Miley's antics into some perspective: "The show was produced by adults and performed by adult entertainers ... Liz Smith rightly calls out the media for promoting excess and then affecting shock and disdain" ... Still others dissed Miley and recalled that Madonna's shock tactics were often humorous, meant to have a deeper meaning and were -- in Madonna's favorite word -- "ironic." One woman wrote: "Madonna used attire that could have been considered cool at the time and I honestly thought her dancing was imaginative ... with Miley, I just cringed."
Oh, and another reader/writer reminded us all that crotch-grabbing is nothing new. Michael Jackson and the aforementioned Big M were ever allowing their hands to stray. I thought both of them didn't need to go there. It was unnecessary. Now it's simply unimaginative.
And as for "twerking." Uh, people, it's just a stupid new word for movements as old as dance itself: You shake everything you've got and hope you don't throw your back out. There is nothing new under the sun. Or near the twerk. (Remember the song, "Shake Ya Tailfeather"? It wasn't about nervous chickens.)
I HAVE two things I want to recommend; both from the New Yorker.
1. Aug. 26 issue, the David Denby article on Ava Gardner, titled "The Reluctant Star." Our friend Ava has made many stories lately. For real movie fans, the late Peter Evans' recent book "Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations" has been a must. Mr. Denby's piece is a wonderful sum-up and P.S.
2. The Sept. 2 issue of The New Yorker has a "must read" in its "Annals of the Media" written by Kelefa Sanneh titled "Twenty-Four-Hour Party People." This concerns itself with TV's liberal MSNBC and its relatively newly created stars, Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ed Schultz, Chris Hayes and, inexplicably, Al Sharpton.
If I don't have anything else to do, I watch this station time after time. It's a compulsion, though I frequently disagree! But most of them are smart. Maybe too smart for their own good.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
Ben Affleck gets some bat-love from Michael Keaton
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