Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti will be "Surfin' USA" alongside John Cusack and Paul Dano in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy. The Hunger Games actress and Amazing Spider-Man 2 stars are set to star in Love & Mercy, which will document Wilson, played by Cusack and Dano, as he grapples with mental illness throughout the decades of his acclaimed music career as the rockin' Beach Boys front-man.
On top of showcasing Wilson's superb raw talent as a musician, the Bill Pohlad-directed and -produced film emphasizes the people in his life that helped guide him along the way. Banks is slated to take on the role of Wilson's wife, Melinda, and Giamatti will portray Dr. Eugene Landy, Wilson's therapist.
Wilson first met his wife when he and his band performed at Hollywood nightclub Pandora's Box in October 1962. After clumsily spilling a drink all over Marilyn, the couple started dating despite their apparent age gap– she was 14 and a high school student, while he was a 20-year-old performer. scandalous!
Marilyn hired Dr. Eugene Landy to treat her husband in 1975. Dr. Landy's unorthodox 24-hour therapy regime was and is considered highly controversial. Although Landy triumphed in limiting Wilson's abusive drug habits and successfully rejuvenated the musician's look and health, the doc (who earned the brand "Doctor Feelgood") was fired by The Beach Boys for allegedly brainwashing, isolating, and drugging his patient.
Biopics documenting legendary and impactful men are all the trend right now: first Ashton Kutcher will tackle the role of Apple Inc. genius Steve Jobs in the film Jobs, and next up Paul Dano and John Cusack will star as Wilson when production for Love & Mercy written by Oren Moverman begins in August.
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Melissa McCarthy made her triumphant return to Saturday Night Live last night, in what was probably a calculated effort to save this (Timberlake exempted) lackluster season. Did she do it? Kind of.
McCarthy definitely brought a refreshing burst of energy to the show, throwing herself wholeheartedly into every character she played — writing be damned. She's also one of those rare hosts (like Timberlake) who takes the lead on every sketch, allowing SNL's players a respite from carrying the burden left from lesser hosts. Still, a lot of the material fell flat, and the writers seem to have pigeonholed McCarthy into the role of a schlubby, frumpy, stupid overweight woman. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's just damn frustrating. Either way, McCarthy does what she can to give each character life, and that goes a long way. Let's dig in:
C-Span Cold Open:
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The night opened with Bobby Moynihan playing Kim Jong-un, as he addressed two very important issues: the opening of the Yongbyong nuclear complex that would leave his enemies "chagrined and discombobulated," and the lift of North Korea's ban on same sex marriage. "It is simply the right thing to do," he explained. Then he explained just how heterosexual he was by counting his numerous female lovers, and describing their multiple orgasms. If SNL's goal was to trigger my gag reflex, they succeeded. Brining in Dennis Rodman at the end was pretty funny, though it pales in comparison to a later cameo:
Yeesh, this one fell flat. The opening monlogue was a caes of physical humor gone wrong, with McCarthy tumbling all over the stage in a pair of glittery red heels more appropriate for a Spice Girl than an SNL hosting gig. It was funny for a few seconds, but then it took over the entire bit and just wouldn't go away. Taran Killam came out for a song, "Spring time in New York," and McCarthy stumbled onstage as she attempted to join him.
Outside the Lines:
I had to Google the case of horrifying Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, but once I did, I fully appreciate Sheila Kelly. Again it was purely physical humor, but McCarthy nailed it — just, not as hard as she nailed her players. "Guess What? Brick," she said, as she threw a freaking brick at an unsuspecting athlete. "I threw a toaster at you, cause you're toast," she went on. Silly, but hilarious.
There were two MVP's in The Voice sketch: McCarthy as the disastrous but perfectly reasonable contestant, and Bill Hader as Adam Levine. From the lips to the soft voice to the undeniable swagger of the man with moves like Jagger, he was great. Jason Sudeikis was a decent Blake Shelton, same goes for Kate McKinnon as Shakira. Jay Pharoah Usher was great, mainly for the leg humor. But McCarthy as the skeptical contestant was my favorite — after mumbling a few off-key verses, all four chairs turned around. When asked what she'd say if they said they could make her the biggest pop star in the world, she replied: "I'd say I'd be pretty skeptical." She went on, "Is there anyone who does not get picked by you guys?" She eventually turned them all down, but not before saying she admired them for their "so much misplaced enthusiasm." Love it.
Honey Baked Ham Bake-Off:
Well, this was strange. Again, McCarthy threw herself into her oddball character: a dumb, schlubby woman entering a honey-baked ham contest. She'd lost last year due to presentation, so boy, did she step it up: with Killam and Moynihan in giant pig suits, she dramatically reenacted the making of ham to the sounds of "Push It." Unfortunately, this bit is not online.
Admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of toilet humor (kudos to McCarthy in Bridesmaids for breaking the mold) so it's no surprise that Kenan Thompson's poop commercial didn't hit it for me. The "twist" at the end was ... inspiring? Not really. Check it out for yourself:
Phoenix hit the stage to perform "Entertainment," and I don't like this band, so. Check it out if you're into that sort of thing.
Not the best outing for Seth Meyers and the gang, I'm afraid. Vanessa Bayer's Jacob the Jewish kid just would. Not. Stop, despite getting no laughs. Charles Barkley talking about his gambling debts wasn't too great, either.
But then, from the ashes, emerged the phoenix. Drunk Uncle went on and on about his taxes doing his same old schtick, but my ears perked up when he said "So I'm not King Joffrey, okay?" — because, who doesn't love a Game of Thrones reference, especially when it mentions my one true king? Drunk Uncle brought out his buddy, who was... Peter Drunklage! Tyrion Lannister earns every scene he steals in GoT, and same goes for his real-life counterpart Dinklage on SNL. From the handlebar mustache to the Taylor Swift rumblings to this gem: "You know what's in my Tumblr? Regret." — Dinklage was the MVP of the night.
Million Dollar Wheel:
What was going on here? McCarthy played Danelle, a Vanna White-esque substitute for the recovering letter-girl on Million Dollar Wheel, a Wheel of Fortune parody. The whole bit was, literally, her being bad at turning over the letters. Yikes.
Small Business Loan/The Pizza Eater:
BOY did things turn around post-MDW. McCarthy played another signature McCarthy character — aka frumpy, sclubby, and dumb — but the bit was just so perfectly bizzare, and she sold it so well that it worked. Points to Jason Sudeikis too, for being a brilliant straight man who didn't break while McCarthy begged him for a pizza-eating loan and shotgunned a pizza right in his face. It's so weird that its brillance is hard to describe, so just... yeah, check it out.
Phoenix, Round 2:
This time, it was a medly of "Trying to Be Cool" and "Drakkar Noir" and I'm still not going to pretend that I have anything to say about this band.
The Art of the Encounter:
Usually on SNL, skits come last for good reason. This applies to "art of the encounter," a '90s educational dating video that found McKinnon and Cecily Strong giving tips on how to interract with men.
What did you think of McCarthy's return to SNL? Did you love her pizza eater? Am I wrong about the honey-baked ham? Wish Peter Drunklage would come back again? Let us know in the comments!
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[PHOTO CREDIT: NBC]
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Bullock donates $1 million
Sandra Bullock is encouraging Hollywood's millionaires to give generously to the post-tsunami relief effort in Asia after donating $1 million to help support emergency groups. The actress contacted the American Red Cross last week and asked how she could help, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This is the second time the generous star has handed over $1 million to the charity--she donated a similar amount after the terrorist attacks on America in 2001. A Red Cross spokesman says, "Sandra continues to enable our lifesaving work and is a model for personal generosity."
Fox: 'I'm not Lil' Jon's wife'
Actress Vivica A. Fox has rubbished reports she's married rapper Lil' Jon. The Kill Bill beauty insists she's baffled by rumors she's tied the knot with the hip-hop star--and she's desperate to inform her fans of the truth. She says, "I am not married to Lil' Jon and I definitely need folks to know that." Fox famously dated rapper 50 Cent before the pair suffered a very public break-up.
Ford is top granddad
Harrison Ford has been named Hollywood's sexiest grandfather in new pensioners magazine Grand.
The movie star, 62, beat Goldie Hawn, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Naomi Judd to take the top spot in Grand's February issue.
Foxx wins the black vote
Jamie Foxx and his hit film Ray have been honored again--by the African-American Film Critics Association. Oscar-favorite Foxx was named best actor for his roles in Collateral and
Ray. Meanwhile, the Ray Charles biopic beat Hotel Rwanda and The Aviator to claim the best film honor.
Oprah is U.S top TV pick
Oprah Winfrey has been crowned America's popularity queen after beating Michael Jackson, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez in a new TV list. Top showbiz news program Entertainment Tonight mentioned Winfrey's name more than anyone else during the course of 2004--thanks to her 50th birthday celebrations and $7 million car giveaways. Jackson came in second with Aniston beating her namesake to third. Socialite Paris Hilton was fifth.
Pitt's partner lands Paramount post
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's film-making partner Brad Grey is set to quit the trio's successful company after being handed the top role at Paramount Studios. Grey set up Plan B Prods. with Pitt two years ago after formerly managing the movie star and his wife as the owner of powerful agency Brillstein-Grey. Plan B has enjoyed much success and Grey is expected to remain to complete Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and one other movie. The Hollywood heavyweight is poised to take over retiring Paramount head Sherry Lansing's job later this year.
Jackson wanted for Pacey resurrection
Actor Joshua Jackson is being targeted by TV bosses eager to bring his Dawson's Creek character back to the small screen. Jackson rocketed to fame playing troubled teen Pacey Whitter in the show--which ran from 1998 to 2003--about four friends in a small coastal town who help each other cope with adolescence. And now TV chiefs are offering Jackson a lucrative contract in an effort to tempt the actor--who is pursuing a film career after scoring success in movies like Cruel Intentions and The Skulls--back into the role for a spin-off series, according to British newspaper the Daily Star.
Arquette convinced psychics can help
Actress Patricia Arquette signed up to play a clairvoyant in new TV series Medium because she's convinced psychics can help people. Far from a skeptic, Arquette admits she has called on phone psychics on four occasions to help her make life decisions and get answers to mysteries. She says, "I called once when my mom was ill and I got offered a movie and I was going to be out of town and I said, 'I have a job opportunity out of town and I'm not sure if I should take it.' Meanwhile, my friend had heard her ex-boyfriend had gone missing... and he said, 'Well he's lost at sea,' and it turned out he drowned but nobody knew. They told me, 'No. Don't take that show.' And my mom ended up getting sick at that time. Another time, someone had stolen something and they described the people who'd just been fired at this workplace." In the new drama series, which debuted Monday night, Arquette speaks to the dead to help police solve crimes.
Sarandon refuses to discuss Robbins romance
Susan Sarandon has warned celebrities they're heading for heartache if they continue to boast about their relationships in the media. The actress, 58, refuses to divulge the secrets of her long-running romance with actor Tim Robbins--who she's been dating for 17 years--because she fears exposing such intimate details could have disastrous consequences. Sarandon says, "My formula for a successful relationship is never to talk about a successful formula, because it's bound to go wrong. At a certain point you have to decide that you are going to be with this person, and not be looking towards the door to see who else is coming in, in case they're better. I don't know when that point comes--maybe it's to do with age, or maybe it's who you're with. But you do have to decide to grow with them, and hopefully they will grow with you, too."
Murray slams difficult reputation stories
Bill Murray has slammed accusations he is difficult to work with, insisting he only clashes with "obnoxious people". The Lost In Translation actor has little time for those who lack consideration for others. Murray says, "If it keeps obnoxious people away, that's fine. It makes me think of that line you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. People say this to you with a straight face, and I always say, 'Who. Wants. Flies?'" Murray roots for the underdog and crossed swords with the location manager on his last movie over his attempts to heat a rented house where child actors were performing their scenes. Of the fracas on the untitled Jim Jarmusch flick, he says, "(I said) 'Who are you?' She said, 'I'm locations.' I said, 'Well, if locations had done their job and made sure it was warm enough for these people, we wouldn't be lighting a fire in the fireplace.'" At the wrap party, Murray approached the woman again, "I said, 'You know, we had our moment, and I don't apologize for that for a second.'" However, he congratulated her on excelling at other aspects of her job and adds, "I wanted to let her know I could see it both ways."
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