September 21, 2012 9:37am EST
Thanks to the recent speech at the Republican National Convention in which the former Dirty Harry berated a chair holding an invisible Barack Obama going into a movie starring Clint Eastwood as a technophobe who has trouble not walking into tables and chairs on a daily basis isn’t exactly a setup for success. But believe it or not it’s actually not that unfortunate context that’s the problem: from the clunky script and pacing to Clint’s ever-present grumble and the film’s predictable plot Trouble with the Curve is a slow pitch right down the middle.
And this is coming from someone who loves baseball movies so much she’s suffered through Kevin Costner’s For the Love of the Game – twice. But Trouble isn’t really a baseball movie. It’s a sappy father-daughter relationship tale with baseball as the hook and the caulk filling in the film's cracks.
Gus (Eastwood) is one of the oldest most respected scouts in the game but he’s getting old his eyes are going and some twerp with a laptop (Matthew Lillard) and his frat boy henchman are determined to shove Gus out of his position at the Atlanta Braves and replace him with a computer (muah-ha-ha). His daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) who he named after Mickey Mantle because that’s how much he loves baseball is trying to make partner at her law firm in a pool of misogynistic bigwigs when she’s called down to North Carolina to help her dad at the behest of his boss and best friend (John Goodman). While she should be working things out with her pops a young scout named Jimmy (Justin Timberlake) shows up flirts with Mickey and steals the storyline for the entire middle section of the film.
While Eastwood’s growling grumbling demeanor are perfect for the role of a stalwart old man who refuses to give up the game he once knew he’s saddled with stale jokes and quips – you may know them as “dad jokes” – that undermine his ability to be the wise man who knows better than these young whippersnappers. Adams does the best she can with a role that asks little more than for her to be smart sassy and outspoken but it simply feels like the role was over-cast. Timberlake’s character is plagued with Gus’ same brand of dad jokes but luckily for us the former boy bander is oozing with enough charm to make any joke no matter how terrible funny enough to make us fall in love with him – for an hour and half anyway.
Script issues aside where the film really starts to lose its way is in its portrayal of Lillard’s young ladder-climbing villain. At one point they even show him sitting in a dark room backlit by a lone desk lamp as he instructs his henchman to keep spying on Gus. All that’s missing is a maniacal laugh and a fluffy cat on his lap for him to stroke with his ruby-ring-decked hand.
It’s this hyperbolic villainy coupled with the treatment of Gus’ mortal enemy (technology) paired with two battling relationship stories (Timberlake and Adams vs. Eastwood and Adams) and the slow plodding pace that keep this film from being what it should be: a perfectly sweet predictable popcorn flick.
Trouble would be a perfectly adequate movie to casually watch on a Sunday afternoon with your dad but then again you could just get Field of Dreams on Blu-ray just as easily.
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros]
September 19, 2012 8:08am EST
Oh hey! You’re back? Nice. Let’s get straight to it. I’ve got a stellar line-up in this week’s Spoiler List for all you TV obsessers out there. And yes I am aware that “obsessers” is not an actual word, but I like it and I’ve already typed it out so I think I’m just gonna keep it. I’ve sweet talked my way into getting all the details on an epic Big Bang Theory showdown, what’s up next on Once Upon a Time now that magic has arrived, and when Glee fans can expect to see the cleanest wedding of the century! Plus, I’ve gift-wrapped some terrific tidbits from Happy Endings, 2 Broke Girls, and Go On. So buckle your seat belts, because I'm about to pour you a tall glass of "This is how it is." (Name that quote! No, seriously name it and I’ll probably send you a cookie.)
1. The Big Bang Theory: It’s the Ultimate Girls v. Boys battle!
At the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, I endured record-setting temperatures to chat with Johnny Galecki and bring you back some much-needed BBT scoop. (Please feel free to send thank you notes and popsicles to my apartment.) So what’s coming up for your favorite geeks next door? Galecki tells me about his new favorite upcoming episode in which things get “very, very competitive.” The actor reveals, “Leonard and Penny and Sheldon and Amy [are] playing board games. It’s boys against girls and it’s one of my favorites that we’ve ever done. It’s a simple idea but a really wonderful episode.” Anything involving my beloved Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) gets me giddy, but knowing that she’ll be teaming up with her “bestie” against her contractually obligated boyfriend is sure to cause all kinds of hilarity!
And as for shipper news, Galecki explains that Leonard and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) are in more of “comfortable” relationship this season. “It’s not so hyper-sensitive as it’s been in previous seasons ... so it’s not the same anxiety of ‘Oh my God, how might she react to this?!’ We kind of tease each other and give each other a hard time as most people do when they’ve known each other for half a decade.” Thank goodness! Now we’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed that Leonard will pop the question again this year, but preferably not mid-coitus this time. Hey, it’s Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) word not mine…
2. 2 Broke Girls: Will the girls really stay broke forever?
My brother and I are particularly fond of this show, and particularly fond of Oleg (Jonathan Kite) the foul-mouthed fry cook who once admitted his fondness for models: “You are like someone super-sized a Victoria's Secret angel. I'd like to Gisele on your Bündchens.” I can't help but laugh. Oh-so-classy, I know. But the one thing that has always bothered me about the CBS comedy is that at the end of each episode we see how much money the girls have made (or usually lost) in those 22 minutes of cupcake-ing and cat-fighting. Come on now, girls, show me the money! Kat Dennings reveals that fans can expect to see their cupcake fund start to seriously increase this season. “I think we will definitely see a jump," she says. "There has to be a jump because [the girls] are so driven."
Max and Caroline may be short on cash, but last season they were never short on eye candy. But if you were hoping to see Max’s kinda-sorta relationship with Johnny (Nick Zano) return, keep on wishing. “No, I feel like that was it for her," Dennings says. "I feel like that broke her heart and she is done now. She will always have feelings for him and if he comes back into her life, it will be dramatic for her, but I do not see her having a serious thing for a long time.“ Oh, and in case you were wondering, Dennings says fans can expect to see more sexually charged diner outbursts form Oleg this season. “I’m almost 100 percent sure that will stay,” she says with a laugh.
3. Once Upon a Time: Emma is the new Alice In Wonderland!
Now that the oddly intimidating purple smoke has entered Storybrooke, the second season of the ABC hit drama will show us the problems that will arise now that magic is back. At Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys, Jennifer Morrison (who was looking absolutely stunning in a red gown) says fans can look forward to a “complicated” family reunion this season. “Everything has changed and the world is upside-down for Emma … in a sense. she feels like Alice in Wonderland, who has gone the rabbit hole,” Morrison says. “She’s kind of born in a whole new way now and has to find a way to protect her son and protect her relationships with her family and develop them.” Yeah, something tells me that realizing you’re the daughter of fairy-tale royalty like Snow White and Prince Charming would be just a little bit daunting.
Though Emma will be in the middle of an identity crisis this season, many fans are campaigning to see the character nab a more consistent love interest this year. So is love in the air for Emma? The actress was quick to reveal, “Absolutely! There’s definitely some romance coming.” Hmm, perhaps that romance is with last season’s hunky Huntsman? Remember, just because someone has died in the real world doesn’t mean he/she can’t come back in the fairy-tale world. Morrison nods with a smile, “It’s so funny — our show seems to bring everyone back around and around and around, so that is something that I can’t say.” I don’t know about you, but I’m taking that last bit as a heck yes!
4. Go On: Can We Expect a Community Crossover?
I recently chatted with Tyler James Williams, who plays Owen on the new NBC comedy alongside sitcom super-veteran Matthew Perry. When asked who of his ensemble cast could benefit most from a real-life therapy sesh, Williams had an interesting answer: all of ‘em! The Everybody Hates Chris actor explains, “I think we could all use a little therapy, quite frankly. I think that anyone who decides to be an actor and decides they want to be other people on a regular basis could use some therapy.” Touché.
Community fans, however, have more than shard their feelings about network neighbor Go On, which they feel is unsettlingly similar in nature to Dan Harmon's (former) series. But Williams, a champion of Community, says that Perry and the rest of his cast are definitely not trying to steal any eyes away from those at Greendale Community College. “I’m hoping that some of the fan base will cross over, but they’ll also see us as our own project,” Williams says. “We’ve gotten that comparison quite a bit and as much as we love Community, we are hoping to also stand alone.” Bummer! I was hoping that we would see a relative of Star-Burns join the group because he just can’t face the fact that we’ll never see that top hat and quirky facial hair again.
5. Happy Endings: Meet the newest members of the group!
Let me start of saying that if I could physically hug this show, then I would never, ever, ever let it go. So imagine my delight when I was on their set Tuesday morning to chat with the cast about all the hilarious shenanigans set to debut in Season 3. Although I have plenty of scoop to share (to be continued!), I wanted to center this particular piece of news around Casey Wilson’s character, Penny. If you’re not familiar with her, then please watch this, and then come right back. I know! Amahzing, right?
Penny is finally getting a long-term love interest this season, played by that handsome guy who is seriously in everything (please see No. 2), Nick Zano. But when Penny’s new fella enters the group, her gubby (gay hubby, duh), Max (Adam Pally), is less than pleased. Pally explains, “Max is not psyched about it. Max is a little jealous … Although he’s gay, I think there’s a really strong love for Penny and he’s jealous of her attention to anyone else.”
So, naturally, Max does what any grown manboy would do: He gets a replacement Penny named Nicole. “But Max pronounces it ‘Nickles,'” Pally says with a laugh. “Because it’s five times as much as Penny.” And in true Happy Endings fashion, this replacement is also “five times as crazy” as Penny. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this new wannabe Penny will be played by Childrens Hospital actress Kulap Vilaysack.
6. Glee: When’s the Wemma Wedding?!
August 21, 2012 10:38am EST
In March of 2005, Ricky Gervais' critically acclaimed satirical take on the middle-class professional world was brought to the United States, resulting in a hit far and beyond what many had anticipated: the NBC sitcom The Office launched a new wave of single-camera comedies, not to mention the careers of Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rashida Jones and Ed Helms, among others. And now, the world of Dunder-Mifflin is being set up for its conclusion: Deadline reports the upcoming ninth season of the series has been confirmed by Executive Producer Greg Daniels to be the final season.
This shouldn't be much of a surprise. After Season 7, Carell took off, bringing central character and the show's driving force Michael Scott to Colorado to live happily with his soul mate, Holly Flax (Amy Ryan). Additionally, production has been announced on The Farm, a spin-off series centering on the character of Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), which will bring former showrunner Paul Lieberstein (who also plays Toby) along with it. And finally, there is The Mindy Project, which will set Office star/writer Mindy Kaling at the center of her own sitcom.
So, the doors are closing on that Scranton paper company with which we've all grown quite familiar. With Jim and Pam happily married and attentive young parents, Andy and Erin finding new love, and Creed successfully escaping being found out as the Scranton Strangler (it's possible...), the stories do look like they are ready to end.
[Photo Credit: NBC]
What is Walter White Doing At 'The Office'?
'The Office' Showrunner Paul Lieberstein Exits
TCA 2012: 'The Mindy Project' Channels Nora Ephron, 'Game of Thrones' and Michael Scott
April 26, 2012 11:27am EST
Jason Statham headlining a gritty action thriller is as routine as the sun coming up. But the man has the role down to a science — whether he's a down-on-his-luck cop former CIA agent ruthless assassin or any of the other stock characters that open up the Pandora's Box of butt-kicking Statham can deliver. Safe embraces these expectations throwing together an amalgamated central character (Luke Wright a currently homeless former NYPD cop who was secretly black ops maybe assassin hired by the blah blah blah) who goes to battle with every bad guy New York City can offer. Russian mafia Chinese mafia corrupt cops — name the group Statham breaks their tracheae. If that sounds delightful and fresh Safe is a must-see.
Wright's metropolitan misadventure begins after he crosses path with a young Chinese girl Mei (newcomer Catherine Chan) whose endless memory holds the combination to a locked up unknown prize. Every immoral guy in town wants the information — Han Jiao (James Hong) and his gang who kidnapped the girl from her home country want their lost property back; Vassily Docheski (Joseph Sikora) wants to make his mob operation richer; Mayor Tremello (Chris Sarandon) and Captain Wolf (Robert John Burke) want to keep the whole thing under wraps so they continue extorting the crime families. Then there's Wright just a nice guy looking to do a nice thing for a girl in trouble. Commence gun fire and painful deaths.
Writer/Director Boaz Yakin does his best to innovate within the Statham formula utilizing some tricky camera work and snappy comedy dialogue. Simple things keep us on our toes; when Wright first rescues Mei from the clutches of pursuing goons the two jump into a car. We're in the back seat witnessing Statham slamming people back and forth the rear view mirror catching all of the action behind us. In a movie where violence is prioritized over plot the little things really count. Yakin knows it.
Tonally Safe never clicks and it's a major barrier for enjoyment. On one hand it's all about realism — the emotional trauma undergone by a child the real world implications of criminal activity and the bigger picture issues at hand (Sarandon's mayor character just had to go and make it a 9/11 thing didn't he). On the other countless people are gunned down in array of cartoonish violence. Safe isn't Crank; this fact makes rooting for Statham as he punches and shoots his way through crowds of mafiosos a little uncomfortable. The movie's too heavy for its own good even for a strongman like Statham.
March 28, 2012 11:19am EST
Picture Madison Avenue in the 1960s — fancy suits, martinis in hand, elitist commentary about the working class. And of course, the beards. The big, bushy, face-swallowing beards. At least that's what you'd get if you teamed Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner with Zach Galifianakis. While you'll probably never see Galifianakis pitch an ad campaign to Don Draper (which might go something like this), there is a collaboration in the works: Weiner is writing and directing his first feature film, You Are Here, which is set to star Galifianakis and Owen Wilson.
The plot will follow a man (Galifianakis) who comes upon a large inheritance thanks to his recently deceased father's coin collection and spends his riches on a road trip with his childhood best friend (Wilson). Although they share several frequent co-collaborators (including Will Ferrell and Jason Schwartzman), this will be the first time that Galifianakis and Wilson will pair onscreen.
To add to the project's excitement, Amy Poehler is also in talks to join the film. Weiner is synonymous with Mad Men today, but has a hefty resume including The Sopranos, Becker and the underrated Andy Richter Controls the Universe. The writer/producer tells Variety, "This movie has been my passion for eight years and to see it come together with Owen and Zach and Amy is a dream come true. I can't wait to get started because the movie is about everything I care about and I'm tired of reading it out loud to my friends." More Mad Men's Jessica Paré: Why Megan is Better Than Betty Mad Men Recap: A Little History and a Whole Lot of Progress Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis: Mortal Enemies in New 'The Campaign' Pic [Variety]
March 27, 2012 1:28pm EST
HBO's new political comedy Veep has a pretty fruitful subject matter—the behind-the-scenes dysfunctions of the White House staff—and a very impressive name behind it in Armando Iannucci, creator of another political satire, In the Loop. But if that isn't enough for you, it has got a cast that pulls from some of the greatest pieces of pop culture from the early '90s.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads the cast as the apparently inept Vice President of the United States, in the first role that seems suitable for her comic prowess since Seinfeld. Right beside Louis-Dreyfus' VP Selina Meyer is an edgy, ambitious Chief of Staff, played by an actress who will really tug at your affection for early '90s nostalgia: Anna Chlumsky, star of My Girl.
In addition to these leading greats, Veep boasts power players from Arrested Development, the Upright Citizens Brigade, My Boys, and even a Star Trek alum. Check out the character videos below, and the trailer for the upcoming show. Veep will premiere Sunday, Apr. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Selina Meyer, Vice President—played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a.k.a. Elaine from Seinfeld
Amy Brookheimer, Chief of Staff—played by Anna Chlumsky, a.k.a. Vada Margaret Sultenfuss from My Girl
Gary Walsh, "Body Man"—played by Tony Hale, a.k.a. Buster Bluth from Arrested Development
Mike McClintock, Director of Communications—played by Matt Walsh, founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade
Dan Egan, Deputy Director of Communications—played by Reid Scott, a.k.a. Brendan from My Boys
Sue Wilson, Executive Assistant—played by Sufe Bradshaw, a.k.a. an alien in Star Trek
Jonah Ryan, White House Liaison—played by Timothy Simons: newcomer!
HBO Votes for Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Veep
Video: Teasers from HBO's Veep Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Judd Apatow's Girls
HBO Sets Premiere Dates for Game of Thrones, Veep and Game Change
January 12, 2012 10:13am EST
The esteemed South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival will begin on Mar. 9 this year, starting things off with a film that has garnered a heavy sum of anticipation: The Cabin in the Woods. SXSW has announced that the movie, directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, will play as the 2012 Opening Night Film.
Along with to getting to see what promises to be a striking takedown of the horror/thriller genre, attendees will be graced with a Key Conversation panel with Whedon, who also serves as a producer of the film. The Cabin in the Woods will star Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian J. White, Amy Acker and Tom Lenk.
In addition to The Cabin in the Woods, another exciting new project will be showcased at the conference: GIRLS, the new HBO comedy series created by, written/directed by and starring Lena Dunham, and executive produced by Judd Apatow. The series focuses on twenty-something Hannah (Dunham) and her friends facing the comical hardships of New York City life. SXSW is premiering the first three episodes of the series, and Dunham and Apatow will both be present, along with other members of the production team, for a GIRLS panel to follow the screening.
More in SXSW news includes new film announcements for the festival:
Beauty is Embarrassing (World Premiere)
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and insightful look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White.
The Cabin in the Woods (World Premiere)
Director: Drew Goddard, Writers: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford
CITADEL (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Ciarán Foy
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children.
Cast: Anuerin Barnard, James Cosmo, and Wumni Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels
GIRLS (World Premiere)
Director & Writer: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.
Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver
MARLEY (North American Premiere)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (World Premiere)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time.
Small Apartments (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him.
Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls
The complete festival lineup will be announced in early February 2012.
The 19th Annual South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival runs Mar. 9-17, 2012 in Austin, Texas.
December 31, 2011 4:00am EST
The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.
The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.
There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.
However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.
Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.
Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.
The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.
January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.
As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.
In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.
Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.
There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.
Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.
Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.
Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.
Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.
The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.
Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.
March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-O was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.
But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.
March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.
Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.
But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.
Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.
Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.
There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.
There was a close call for actor David Arquette after he was in a head-on car crash in Los Angeles, and Glee star Lea Michele was also involved in a smash when her car was struck by a drunk driver.
Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean had a lucky escape after he was shot in the hand during a visit to his native Haiti, while James Taylor suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident in Utah.
Courtroom battles loomed for Britney Spears, who was hit with a $10 million (£6.25 million) lawsuit over a perfume deal, and Jay-Z was accused of trademark infringement over the logo for Roc Nation.
Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.
There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April (11), but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?
The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April (11) - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March (11). Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.
Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.
But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.
April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.
May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.
As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.
New romances between Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, as well as Nick Jonas and Australian pop star Delta Goodrem also came to light.
It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.
Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.
It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.
As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.
Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.
However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.
There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.
The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.
In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The CMT Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.
The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne.
November 29, 2011 8:40am EST
We were so thrilled with the recent news that Louis C.K. is returning to Parks and Recreation to rustle the recent reunion between Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) that we got to thinking. Louis C.K. was such a killer guest star on Parks -- there have to be more of his kind. And once we started thinking about it, we realized there's an overabundance of great romantic guest stars on our favorite sitcoms, which means we had to whittle it down to a few of our favorites. Maybe we're not that great at whittling, because we've still got 12, but they're all pretty unforgettable so I'm sure you'll forgive us.
Louis C.K. on Parks & Recreation
The comedian's comedian stopped by Pawnee, Ind. for a few episodes to let his bumbling character, Dave, steal fair Leslie's heart. While their romance almost hit the skids before it started thanks to that whole Madeline Albright/ Leslie's grandma confusion, Louis C.K. eventually made a good impression by putting up with Leslie's drunken late-night visit and her tireless tirade on the pre-teen bully/vandal/prankster/Bart Simpson wannabe, Greg Pikitis. Dave never really knew quite the right thing to say, but he was always earnest and sweet, and he made Leslie light up like a Christmas Tree. His return spells trouble for Beslie (is that what we call them?), but I'm still amped to see him come back.
Matt Damon on 30 Rock
I struggled with choosing Michael Sheen or Matt Damon for this entry, but then I remembered the explosive breakup between Carol Burnett (Damon) and Liz (Tina Fey). Sorry, Wesley Snipes (Sheen), "Gangway for Footcycle" gets me everytime, but nothing beats a pilot's discount at Sunglass hut. Damon was pitch perfect for Liz; from his name (a reference to Liz and Fey's comedy heroine), to his constant references to mundane pilot perks that Liz would enjoy more than any other human, to his stalwart love for her show (which no one else in the world seems to give two cheesy blasters about), Carol is perfect for Liz...for a little while anyway. Eventually, they get points for the best breakup ever because they both hold up an entire plane in order for them to figure out they're just too similar. Classic.
Elizabeth Banks on 30 Rock
Just as Liz met her double in Carol, Jack (Alec Baldwin) met his match in Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks), the conservative financial reporter. Together, they worshipped Ronald Reagan, bought their daughter a saddle to ride the maid, and both shreiked with terror when their baby was not only born in CANADA, but with the help of socialized medicine. The horror. Avery too, had to say farewell, and in another dramatic way -- she was kidnapped and taken to North Korea, never to be heard from again. This show sure knows how to get rid of a guest star, eh?
Woody Harrelson on Will & Grace
I promise, I'm not trying to write about all NBC series, but man do they get great guest stars. You may remember that Connick Jr. was the yin to Grace's (Debra Messing) yang as Dr. Leo Markus, but by far, her best boyfriend had to be the slovenly Nathan (Harrelson). As her neighbor, Nathan first drives her crazy, but of course hate turns to sexual tension and they end up together for a good chunk of Season 3. Of course, their breakup circumstances are pretty hilarious as well -- they all stem from Nathan's cry of "Marry me" during sex. They're awkward around eachother until Grace decides that in order to fix it, she'll propose to him. But he says no and breaks it off. Word to the wise: don't propose marriage during bedroom activities.
Luke Wilson on That 70s Show
We thought nothing could come between Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), but apparently all it takes is a Kelso. No, not Michael (Ashton Kutcher), but Casey Kelso the Trans-Am-driving charmer sure does the trick. He's slimy and the complete anti-Eric, but he knows how to play the system and he's old enough to drink beer. Swoon, amirite? He's just as dumb as his younger brother, but he's so charming, that Donna doesn't seem to catch on until Bob orders Donna to stop dating him and Casey doesn't seem to care. She wanted a laid-back dude, didn't she?
Megan Mullally on Parks & Recreation
As Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) second ex-wife, Tammy, Mullally draws on the already hilarious relationship with her real life husband (Offerman) to simultaneously terrify Ron and whip him into a disgustingly sexual frenzy. And her second appearance sees the craziest Ron we've ever witnessed, with cornrows, a boxing robe and a lack of mustache -- from the friction. Shudder.
Kristen Bell on Party Down
If there's anyone better to play a tiny, adorable, unbearably uptight girlfriend and catering manager, point me in their direction, but I think you'll find that Kristen Bell is the tops. She played Uda, Henry Pollard's (Adam Scott) girlfriend after fellow cater waiter Casey (Lizzy Caplan) breaks his heart. She's terrifying, even when she's not on screen, and her love of mundane things like The Mentalist are just the icing on the cake. Her proposal for Henry to give her a call for a date is one of the most haunting comedic moments in recent memory.
on Family Guy
Brian is obnoxiously pseudo-intellectual. He constantly assumes he's so much smarter than every other person on the show, though he's constantly shown to be completely pretentious. Nothing quite drives that point into the ground like his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jillian. She was gorgeous, blonde and a complete and total idiot. She completely puffs up Brian's confidence in that she's so hot and that she constantly needs him to explain just about everything to her. "How do I know if I'm Jewish?" "Are you Jewish?" "Nope." "There you go, sport."
February 23, 2011 5:17am EST
Amy Poehler stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman last night and shared how she hates everyone else when she drives, even if her kids are with her. "I go so Boston," she said, and then followed that by shamelessly tossing the double bird up into the air. Now, as Dave said: mother of the year!
Owen Wilson chatted on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno about his first six weeks of fatherhood with his new baby boy, Ford. And of course, Wilson is a funny dude, so he's already cracking jokes at the expense of his six-week-old. In a few years, when Ford is struggling to concentrate on his homework, he'll have to deliver the stern, parental line, "Ford, focus."
The Farrelly Brothers talked on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon about the pranks they like to pull on one another. And then, they pulled a prank on Fallon. Then, Fallon got them back. But, seriously, come ON you guys, IS LATE NIGHT JUST A BIG JOKE TO YOU? COME ON!
Matthew Perry told Conan about his new show, Mr. Sunshine -- pause for clapping -- and his horrible, horrible, horrible taste in music. Yes, I'm looking at you, Culture Club. And yes, I'm looking at you, Culture Club fans.