Teen idols including Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Brittany Murphy, Ryan Seacrest, Colin Farrell, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Hilary Duff and Tony Hawk were on hand for this year's Teen Choice Awards Saturday at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, Calif.
Making his first public appearance in two weeks was Los Angeles star Laker Kobe Bryant, who was not expected at the event after being formally charged with felony sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman who worked at an exclusive resort hotel in Eagle, Colo., on July 18.
Accompanied by his wife, Vanessa, Bryant flashed a thumbs-up and peace sign at fans but did not talk to reporters before going into the show, where he received best male athlete honors. This was Bryant's fourth win in five years. The Los Angeles Lakers are the only professional sports team to have members who have won this award, with Shaquille O'Neal taking the honor in 2001.
Other highlights of the night include Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Gellar, who won for best TV actress in a drama. This was her fourth win in five years in this category and ninth win overall--more than any other female.
Best hissy fit went Saturday Night Live alum Adam Sandler--his fifth award overall in five years--for his role in the big-screen comedy Anger Management.
In TV highlights, the WB drama 7th Heaven, which revolves around a Christian family and the issues they encounter, also received its third consecutive win as best TV drama. The series, now in its eighth season, stars Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks, David Gallagher, Beverly Mitchell and Mackenzie Rosman.
Kutcher, however, was the night's big winner. He won best actor in a TV comedy for his role as Kelso in That '70s Show, best reality host for his MTV prankster series Punk'd and the coveted "male hottie" award.
The David Spade-hosted telecast will air Aug. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Choice Movie, Drama: The Matrix Reloaded
Choice Movie Actor, Comedy: Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty)
Choice Movie Actress, Comedy : Queen Latifah (Bringing Down the House)
Choice Movie Villain: Colin Farrell (Daredevil)
Choice Movie Hissy Fit : Adam Sandler (Anger Management)
Choice Breakout Female Movie Star: Hilary Duff (The Lizzie McGuire Movie)
Choice TV Drama:7th Heaven
Choice TV Breakout Show: 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
Choice TV Actor, Comedy: Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show)
Choice TV Actor, Drama: David Gallagher (7th Heaven)
Choice TV Actress, Drama: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Choice TV Sidekick: Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show)
Breakout Male TV Star: George Stults (7th Heaven)
Breakout Female TV Star: Kaley Cuoco (8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter)
Choice TV Reality Show: American Idol
Choice Reality/Variety Host: Ashton Kutcher (Punk'd)
Choice TV Reality Babe: Paula Abdul (American Idol)
Choice TV Reality Hunk: Ashton Kutcher (Punk'd)
Choice Greatest TV Reality Moment: Justin Timberlake's tax repossession (Punk'd)
Choice Grossest TV Reality Moment: Eating squid guts (Fear Factor)
Choice Scariest Reality Moment: Ruben Studdard in the bottom two (American Idol)
Choice Music Female Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Choice Music Rock Track: "Bring Me To Life" (Evanescence)
Choice Male Hottie: Ashton Kutcher
Choice Male Athlete: Kobe Bryant
Choice Comedian: Jim Carrey
Choice Male Fashion Icon: Ryan Seacrest
The 2003 Teen Choice Awards is executive produced by Bob Bain (The Billboard Music Awards) and Mike Burg. Paul Flattery and Michael Levitt serve as producers. Greg Sills serves as supervising producer.
It took me several days to process my reaction to "Man on the Moon," the Andy Kaufman biopic starring Jim Carrey.
Having been a huge fan of Kaufman since his earliest TV appearances, I was the target audience for this film, and -- having liked both previous screen bios written by the talented team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski ("Ed Wood" and "The People Vs. Larry Flynt") -- I was primed.
And I liked the film.
I had a wonderful time, relishing Jim Carrey's letter-perfect re-creations of Kaufman's stage persona and being moved by the film's bittersweet finale. Nonetheless, at "Man on the Moon"'s conclusion, the first thing I said to my wife (also a Kaufman fan) was, "I really liked that, but I'm not sure it's a good movie."
She agreed, noting that viewers coming in cold -- unschooled in Kaufmania -- might well be bewildered, even bored. "Man on the Moon" preaches to the choir, thereby doing its fascinating subject a disservice. Kaufman always managed to pitch his humor at two levels, entertaining both those who "got it," and those who didn't.
Of course those who didn't get it -- like the wrestling fans in Memphis who took Kaufman's hysterical spoof of a wrestling villain seriously -- got the entertainment value of hating the bad guy, which is what pro wrestling was and (and is) about. When Kaufman was wrestling women -- conning beautiful females into squirming around with him on a wrestling mat -- he was probably the first nationally known humorist to head-on tackle political correctness.
When Kaufman intoned traditional, ridiculous male chauvinisms about women needing to stay in the kitchen ("peeling the carrots, washing the potatoes"), those of us who immediately grasped his humor were further amused (and horrified) by the knee-jerk reactions of supposedly hip leftists who, as it turned out, didn't "get" Kaufman, after all. Feminists who took Kaufman's absurdities at face value -- and, by their reaction, warned the rest of us just how humorless supposedly informed people could be -- got entertainment value: They, too, got to hate the bad guy, in true wrestling tradition.
Unfortunately, "Man on the Moon," doesn't seem to "get it" where Kaufman is concerned.
With proper direction, and a better screenplay, Carrey may have developed an off-stage persona for Kaufman. But in this film, the creators capitulate: director Milos Forman (who also helmed "Larry Flynt") and the screenwriters cop out, implicitly insisting that their failure to find the interior life of Kaufman is Kaufman's own fault. "There is no real you," Courtney Love glibly tells Carrey, who sadly replies, "Oh yeah -- I forgot."
It's the filmmakers who forgot.
"Man on the Moon" does not give Kaufman the credit for his genius, that he had a complete intellectual grasp of what he was up to and a showman's instincts for how to play an audience. Carrey is stuck with a script that turns the "real" Kaufman into an idiot savant from which peculiar comedy magically spews.
This basic misunderstanding is a deep flaw that the movie itself seems to guiltily acknowledge by spending so much screen time on recreating Kaufman's stage acts and wilder backstage pranks.
The indication that Carrey could have pulled off an in-depth portrait of the real man comes in the final half-hour, when Kaufman is confronted by his own mortality and the karma of his "boy who cried wolf" technique. Overall, Carrey -- so dead on, so wonderful in re-creating the Foreign Man, De Elveece, the demented Intergender Wrestling Champion and especially the gloriously odious lounge-singer-from-hell Tony Clifton -- is almost painfully wrong in many of the off-stage moments. His portrayal of Kaufman the man is a mincing, precious, slump-shouldered mistake.
It's not Carrey the actor who is terrific in "Man on the Moon": it's Carrey the impressionist. (Notably, Carrey's early career was strictly devoted to spookily effective impressions. For a time, in fact, he was sort of the new wave Rich Little ... right down to his Canadian heritage.)
What is peculiar about the flawed script is that writers Alexander and Karaszewski previously were able to climb beneath the skins of two other oddball show-biz figures -- Ed Wood and Larry Flynt. Watching director Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" -- whose subject is every bit as bizarre as Andy Kaufman was (or pretended to be) -- I understand the legendary "bad" director's passions for film and, for that matter, angora sweaters. Forman's take on Flynt gave genuine insights into the blue-collar Horatio Alger story, exposing the squirmy nightmarish underside of the American dream even while extolling freedom of speech -- no small feat.
Forman adds to the awkwardness of "Man on the Moon" by casting real people as themselves and interspersing them with actors playing real people. We get an actor playing Merv Griffin, and then David Letterman as himself (wearing the glasses of today's Dave). We get Norm MacDonald playing Michael Richards (in the "Fridays" sketch re-enactment), but the cast of "Taxi" as themselves -- with the camera placed so close to their older visages that Forman seems to be willfully reminding us that 20 years have passed.
A further awkwardness is that, of course, Danny DeVito as Louie is absent from the "Taxi" cast because DeVito is busy playing Kaufman's manager.
Two books about Kaufman serve him little better. The superior of the pair, "Andy Kaufman Revealed!" (Little Brown, 1999), explores the partnership between Kaufman and comic Bob Zmuda. Zmuda's book is almost cheerfully mean-spirited and is as much, if not more, about Zmuda than Kaufman. The agenda of the book is to portray Zmuda as the conceptual brains behind much of Kaufman's art - a questionable thesis, to say the least. (To keep things honest, I should mention that Zmuda -- in passing in his book -- disses my film, "Mommy's Day," which I doubt he ever saw. Please know that I bear Zmuda no grudge for this and am in fact thrilled that something of mine should be mentioned at all in a book about Andy Kaufman.)
Worse, but more well rounded, is "Lost in the Funhouse" (Delacorte Press, 1999), Bill Zehme's pretentious, novelistic take on Kaufman's life. It's a pity that Zehme decided to go down such a preening, pompous stylistic road ("Clifton was called upon to obfuscate the sweet-chirping-tenking-dithering-whirlwind of it all which showed no sign of slowing") littered with boldface, italics, flash forwards, flashbacks and condescension.
Like "Man on the Moon," Zehme sees Kaufman as a gifted head case. He commits the unpardonable crime of writing a humorless book about one of the funniest men who ever lived. It's a pity, because Zehme's research work is first-rate, and -- once he gets past Kaufman's childhood and beatnik/hippie days -- traces the arc of Kaufman's career effectively.
A wealth of Kaufman's real material (the terrific wrestling documentary "I'm From Hollywood," his notorious "Midnight Special," the absurdist "My Breakfast with Blassie") are re-emerging to remind longtime Kaufman fans, and instruct new ones, on just who Andy Kaufman the performer was.
Kaufman the man? Who knows? Kaufman didn't want us to know, so maybe we should just respect that.
Whitney Houston played an imaginary piano, had trouble keeping her eyes open, bragged about how a "Jew guy" made her bracelet, and compared hanging with a junkie to hanging with a president during an interview for an upcoming magazine profile. Whitney Houston, left, with husband Bobby Brown The disclosures from Jane magazine come a day after the singer's camp tried to shoot down reports that she'd been canned from Sunday's Oscars telecast because she kept flubbing her routine in rehearsals. (According to Houston, she chose to sit out the show due to a sore throat.)
In the Jane interview, to be featured in the mag's May issue, Houston was asked by interviewer Tony Romando if she'd ever met a president or kicked back with a junkie.
"Sure," Houston reportedly said, adding that the junkie and the president are the same dudes.
"The president gets off on the country," Houston told the mag. "The junkie gets off on a couple of hits. They're the same, both cut from the same cloth, they're just men, you dig?"
Houston didn't dig in for her Jane chat until four hours after she was scheduled to arrive, the magazine says. When she did show, Romando says "she was extremely unfocused, had trouble keeping her eyes open and kept singing and playing an imaginary piano on the table."
"I guess laughing gas can do that to you." (Houston had told him she'd just come from the dentist.)
In the New York Daily News, Houston publicist Nancy Seltzer said she'd "never heard Whitney use language like that" -- including the singer's reference to the "Jew guy on Diamond Row in New York" who made her gold and diamond bracelet.
'N SALES: For those keeping score at home, 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" sold more than 2.4 million units in its first week in release, Billboard.com says. The mark shatters the previous standard (of 1.13 million CDs and such sold) held by boyband rival the Backstreet Boys. Final stats will be released today.
"AMERICAN" BRIDE: Mena Suvari, the object of Kevin Spacey's illicit affection in "American Beauty," wed cinematographer Robert Brinkman ("The Cable Guy") in California earlier this month, it has been revealed. Suvari is 21; her husband, 38.
ANOTHER GEORGE LUCAS MASTERPIECE ON THE WAY, NO DOUBT: The script for the latest "Star Wars" prequel "is not complete," says a Lucasfilm e-mail update to fans, "but enough of the story is known to begin work." Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer.
'SUSSUDIO' SUED: In London today, trial was to get under way in a lawsuit pitting two members of Earth, Wind & Fire ("Boogie Wonderland") against newly minted Oscar winner Phil Collins. The band guys say they're due royalties for an album they cut with Collins in 1990.
Rosie O'Donnell emceed Nickelodeon's 14th annual Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.
The winners were:
Favorite Movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas;
Favorite TV Show: Malcolm in the Middle;
Favorite Movie Actor: Jim Carrey;
Favorite Movie Actress: Drew Barrymore;
Favorite TV Actor: Carson Daly;
Favorite TV Actress: Amanda Bynes;
Favorite Cartoon: Rugrats;
Favorite Band: Blink 182;
Favorite Singing Group: Destiny's Child;
Favorite Song: "Who Let the Dogs Out?";
Favorite Female Singer: Britney Spears;
Favorite Male Singer: Lil' Bow Wow;
Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Lakers;
Favorite Male Athlete: Tony Hawk; and
Favorite Rising Star: Aaron Carter
Phil Collins welcomes son
Singer Phil Collins, 50, and his third wife Orianne Collins, 28, have welcomed the birth of their first child, a boy named Nicholas Grev Austin. According to People, the baby was born Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Oscar-winning singer/composer's parents hold residence. Collins has three other children from his previous marriages: Simon, Joley and Lily.
Guild turns to porn?
As the work stoppage created by the actors and writers strikes looms, Hollywood's behind-the-scenes players are turning to the porn industry to keep food on the table. According to The Associated Press, Tinseltown's top editors, cinematographers, grips and others are sending resumes to adult-entertainment studios in an effort to keep working.
"It doesn't sound bad to me," said Hollywood business agent Norm Glasser. "If there's a strike, everybody's on their own, more or less."
The fifth annual Hip-Hop Awards will be held Thursday, May 3, in New York City. The awards, which honor the best in hip-hop culture, are chosen directly by fans on SOHH.com. Among those performing are Wyclef Jean, Missy Elliott and Redman, who will also co-host the show along with rapper and radio icon Angie Martinez. Voting began April and will conclude Friday in 17 categories.
Fergie's focus: TV reporting
Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, the Duchess of York, is shifting careers, opting for a new job as a reporter for Britain's ITV network. Ferguson, 41, will kick off her new career with a 20-minute expose on Tonight with Trevor McDonald, a popular British current-affairs program. Her segment will focus on the prevalence of obesity in British society.
Ex-"Survivor" Jerri: soap star
The Survivor castaway America loved to hate will turn up on the tube during daytime, according to Reuters. Jerri Manthey will portray herself in an upcoming episode of CBS' The Young and the Restless to air Monday, May 28. CBS spokespeople have indicated that Manthey, 30, could receive an ongoing role on the show if network execs show interest in her talents.