It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
Nickelodeon will go ahead with its scheduled telecast for children about same-sex parents Tuesday night despite 100,000 e-mails and phone calls in protest of the show, The Associated Press reports. In fact, the network received so many e-mails that it had to set up a separate address to avert a computer crash.
Nick News Special Edition: My Family Is Different, a half-hour discussion produced by Linda Ellerbee, is being targeted by the Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition, which believes Nickelodeon is actively promoting the normalization of homosexuality. Ellerbee, who won a Peabody Award for a Nickelodeon special explaining the Monica Lewinsky scandal for children, maintains the show is about tolerance, not sex. The program, which also features gay parent Rosie O'Donnell, airs commercial-free tonight at 9 p.m. EDT.
Newlyweds Paul McCartney and Heather Mills arrived in the tropical Seychelles islands this week following their Irish wedding, Reuters reports. Although the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation would not divulge the couple's exact whereabouts, locals say the McCartneys are vacationing on the privately run, paparazzi-free Fregate Island.
Actress Tea Leoni and husband David Duchovny have a new 7-pound, 10-ounce baby boy, the AP reports. It's the second child for Leoni, 36, and Duchovny, 41, who were married in 1997. They have a 3-year-old daughter named Madelaine West Duchovny.
A Long Island newspaper has hired Amy Fisher to write a biweekly column, the AP reports. Fisher's first column will appear in the July 3 issue of The New Island Ear. Otherwise known as the Long Island Lolita, Fisher, now 28, made headlines in 1992 after she shot and wounded the wife of auto mechanic Joey Buttafuoco, with whom she was having an affair.
World Wrestling Entertainment star Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, is in talks to play the famous Hawaiian warrior-king Kamehameha in an upcoming film for Columbia Pictures. The movie would be the first feature film based on Hawaii's most famous king, who ruled the islands from 1795 to 1819, the AP reports.
NBC is producing a new comedy about six single friends, targeted for a potential midseason launch, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Coupling, a comedy based on a British series of the same name, is being referred to by the network as Friends with sex. It focuses on a group of thirtysomethings looking to get involved or who are formerly involved with one another.
Captain Kirk's command chair from the original Star Trek series is being sold at auction in Los Angeles on June 27, Wired.com reports. Fans can place bids for the chair, first used by Jeffrey Hunter as the early Captain Christopher Pike, through eBay. The gray plywood chair with a Naugahyde-covered seat, wooden armrests and plastic control buttons comes with an authentication letter and is valued somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.
Plans for a Grateful Dead reunion concert are alive and kicking. Clear Channel Entertainment is appealing a decision by a Walworth County highway committee to deny it a permit. Clear Channel Entertainment, which is promoting Terrapin Station--A Grateful Dead Family Reunion at its East Troy, Wis., music theater, was denied a permit for the show earlier this month because of concerns that the county's 80 sheriff deputies could not handle the expected draw of some 200,000 fans. An appeals hearing is set for June 27.
Director Steven Spielberg wanted this E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial to be something extra special. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the film's release this Friday will have more than 140 shots reworked, including making the little alien more lifelike and replacing the figurine of Elliot riding his flying bicycle in front of the moon with a real child. Bill George, who supervised the special effects changes for Industrial Light & Magic told The Associated Press, "What worked in 1982 doesn't quite hold up."
Singer Sir Elton John, actors Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson and other British celebrities signed a petition to free 23 gay Egyptians who are imprisoned because of their "habitual practice of debauchery" after attending a boat party in Cairo, Reuters reported. The campaign, led by Michael Cashman, British Labor member of the European Parliament, will try and change Egyptian policies on homosexuality, which the mainly Muslim majority considers taboo.
While promoting her new movie Showtime on ABC's Good Morning America Thursday, actress Rene Russo, 48, publicly thanked Rosie O'Donnell for her outspoken opposition to a Florida ban on gay adoption and admitted she herself had been raised by lesbian friends of her mother after her father left. "I wanted to call my mom to say, look, mom, I'm going on national television to say thank you for all your friends, because she was just pretty much abandoned and a lot of her friends came and helped her to raise me and my sister," Russo said on the show.
Britain's Prince William's life is coming to the small screen. Walt Disney Co. will be producing a television movie entitled Prince William, which will follow the then 15-year-old young prince from the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a car wreck in 1997 to the present. No one has been cast, but Disney-owned ABC hopes to air the movie by fall on Wonderful World of Disney.
Do we want to keep Watching Ellie? Maybe not. Since the NBC show starring Seinfeld alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus debuted Feb. 26, the ratings have been sliding steadily, fueling speculation that it will be yanked soon and become another notch in the legendary Seinfeld curse. NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker told the Daily News, however, "We feel very positive. It's been a solid performer. Obviously, it's too early to make any announcements." Sure. He's paid to say that.
Just when you thought it was safe to turn your TV back on, there is going to be more celebrity boxing. Because of the success of last Wednesday's special, which drew in 15.5 million people, Fox is going in for round two. Someone of the "boxers" being considered are Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire bride Darva Conger and Joey Buttafuoco, whose wife was shot by his lover, Amy Fisher.
A British court heard testimony regarding charges against REM guitarist Peter Buck, who apparently had a little too much to drink on a British Airways flight in April 2001, created a disturbance and assaulted one of the cabin crew in a fit of rage. Buck is denying any misconduct.
Anglophile Madonna will be performing the theme song to the next James Bond flick Die Another Day, the 20th in the series, due to be released Nov. 22. She may also put in a cameo, if she can work it into her schedule.
Sebastian Bach, the former lead singer for the heavy metal band Skid Row, has been arrested for making "terrorist threats" and drug possession Wednesday. In what started as a bar fight, Bach got into an altercation with a Middleton, New Jersey bartender and threatened to get a gun to shoot him. When authorities arrived, they took the singer into custody after finding two bags of marijuana in his possession. A court date remains to be set.