In Style looks at Carly Simon's spectacular Martha's Vineyard house and smile

THE BALTIMORE SUN

An earthy Carly Simon graces the cover of July's In Style, the magazine that proves celebrities don't live in hotels. As she philosophizes about her ornate and spectacular Martha's Vineyard estate, Ms. Simon describes how it evolved from James Taylor's "bachelor hippie shack" into her labyrinthine home with 11 decks.

"Our styles were very different in a way," she says. "James was very spare. He liked clean lines, clean walls. I'm much more feminine, but at the time I was convinced he was right. I got into it." Is there a metaphor in the house?

In any case, with this In Style photo spread, Ms. Simon makes official her membership in a very special club, one I've been tracking through magazines with equal parts awe and admiration. Can we talk about celebrity mouths? Here is a partial list of famous people whose smiles and frowns can alter the national weather report: Sandra Bernhard, Carol Channing, Steven Tyler, Carly Simon, Mary Tyler Moore, Mick Jagger, Joni Mitchell, Julia Roberts, Geena Davis. . . . It goes on, including runners-up such as Suzanne Somers, Joan Van Ark and Loretta Swit. These stars have mouths so wide they almost render cheeks irrelevant. Their grins are strictly ear to ear.

Gross on Gere

Esquire for July has cobbled together a gossipy piece on Richard Gere, the Man Who Was Dumped by Cindy. The cover promises a heartfelt Gere confessional about "Cindy Who?" but Mr. Gere wouldn't talk to Esquire, so writer Michael Gross went after a bunch of friends and colleagues. Predictably, Ms. Crawford is painted as the career opportunist, Mr. Gere as the wounded mole-loving monk/mensch. Photographer Herb Ritts probably portrays it most objectively: "He's spiritual. Cindy gave a try, but she's not into eating yak butter."

Mr. Gere did grant an interview to Us for July, but he refuses to discuss his failed marriage. Asked if he wants to set the record straight, he says only, "No. I have no interest. It's nobody's business."

Nevertheless, in case you were looking for dishy subtext, writer Tom O'Neill assures us that "Crawford's presence is felt in every heavy pause that punctuates his comments about having children, and . . . his own rootless wanderings." Meanwhile, Mr. Gere's I'm-proud-to-be-gray hair has taken a turn for the dark side. He tells Us, "This is my hair, but it actually is growing in darker than it was. . . . It's peculiar, I can't figure it out." Just another one of those celebrity mysteries.

Straight Out

Out for July/August contains the much-publicized denial by Keanu Reeves, long assumed to be gay. Writer Tim Allis' fawning cover story, in an issue dubbed "The Straight Issue," portrays Mr. Reeves as "a '90s twist on poetry in motion" with "his tough-but-tender looks, his dude-acious bod, those eyes." Mr. Allis also argues that "the man who played Hamlet on stage in Winnipeg is nothing if not introspective." But what about the man who starred in the "Bill and Ted" movies?

Mr. Reeves says that rumors about his secret Mexican marriage to David Geffen, followed by a Barneys shopping spree, are silly. "I guess I have to say I've never met the guy," he says. Mr. Reeves also says he has no gay actor friends, and that he's never caught wind of any Hollywood prejudice against gay actors. "If that's hard to believe," writes Mr. Allis, "believe that it's uttered with a voice of earnest sincerity."

Double issues

Double summer issues: Rolling Stone for July 13-27 features some fantastic photos of Jim Carrey, including one of the comedian as an oil-slick mermaid. The article goes way into Mr. Carrey's dark side, including money-crazed divorce negotiations with his wife. . . . Entertainment Weekly for June 30/July 7 is "The Cool Issue," the magazine's traditional assessment of what is "happening." Cool hero: Val Kilmer. Cool co-star: Lauren Holly, .. Jim Carrey's current love interest. Cool couple: Nicolas Cage and Patricia Arquette. Cool ditz: Lisa Kudrow from "Friends." And on the uncool list: Adam Sandler, Norman Mailer, "Beverly Hills 90210" and the most backlashed star of the moment, David Letterman.

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