Kristen Bell marked her low-key wedding with Dax Shepard last month (16Oct13) by filming a love scene with her best friend's husband. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star secretly tied the knot with her beau of six years in a spontaneous ceremony at a Beverly Hills, California courthouse - a wedding so small it only cost $142 (£88) and Bell's best friend, Amy Russell, was the only person on hand to serve as a witness.
In an interview with U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday (26Nov13), Bell recalled their big day ended with her shooting love scenes for her TV series House of Lies - with Russell's real life husband.
Bell explained, "The interesting thing about that is her husband is an actor, Ryan Hansen, and I was going to work later that day and had a fairly intimate scene with him. So when I left my wedding I said to my best friend, 'Thanks for witnessing my wedding, I'm going to make pretend love to your husband... and I did."
When asked if Shepard ever gets jealous of her intimate scenes with her on-screen paramours, she admits, "He's surprisingly not jealous. He's so open and honest and wants to talk about everything. He's like a girl. No, he's super trusting and trustworthy. He could care less (sic)."
Bell and Hansen also worked together on cult TV show Veronica Mars, and both will star in the fan-funded big screen adaptation of the series, which is due out next spring (14).
U.S. news anchor Amy Robach has discovered she is battling a double cancer issue while undergoing a bilateral mastectomy this week (end22Nov13). The ABC News presenter went public with her health crisis earlier this month (Nov13) after revealing a mammogram she took as part of a TV piece had detected breast cancer.
The former Today show host on NBS has now revealed medics discovered another previously undetected malignancy during surgery.
In a post to ABC News on Friday (22Nov13), she wrote, "No MRI, no mammogram, no sonogram had found it... I will have more treatments ahead of me, but none that will take me out of work.
"My prognosis is good. As of right now, I plan to head back into the building Monday, Dec. 2, and I couldn't be more excited to get back to work."
Julia Roberts has joined the list of honourees at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival in California, where she'll be feted with the Spotlight Award for her work opposite Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. The Oscar winner joins Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Bruce Dern among the other big names who will be saluted at the event on 4 January (14).
Past recipients of the award include Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Helen Hunt.
Festival bosses have previously announced they will honour Steve McQueen with a Director of the Year Award, while McConaughey will receive the Desert Palm Award, Actor, and Gravity's Sandra Bullock will pick up the Desert Palm Award, Actress. Veteran Dern will be the 2014 recipient of the festival's Career Achievement Award.
To honor the spirit of Ron Swanson and his rules for conversation, let's keep this week's plot summary to 100 words. In "Flouride," Leslie channels her wild card side to get the people of Pawnee to embrace incorporating flouride into their water by using Tom's PR savvy. Meanwhile, in "The Cones of Dunshire," we see an increased role for Chris but no Ann as Leslie attempts to break ground on a new park in hopes of persuading her best friend to stay. Ben switches jobs no less than three times, Billy Eichner returns, and Ron owns four cabins. Plus, plenty of Donna!
Great. Now, let's get to the funny stuff:
-The Indianapolis Colts cold open is a bit of a wash, though Donna shutting down Robert Mathis because he's just a linebacker is a nice touch. "Skilled positions only" for Donna Meagle.
-Amy Poehler plays it dark this week, with Leslie turning from her usual sunny optomism to a shoot-from-the-hit maverick who isn't afraid to get on anyone's bad side, even her own mother's. The woman needs to know what flouride is. She's smarter than that!
-This episode asks the very important question: Why haven't April and Donna ever hung out? You know, ever? The answer: Because then we wouldn't have gotten April's quest to figure out what type of dog Donna is, only to realize she's a cat, and truly win her friendship. Aww!
-Ron considered for a moment that Moby Dick might be a metaphorical journey about a man raging against mortality, then thought better of it.
-Tom's Twitter nonsense is spot on. "The top 100 tweets using #TDazzle will be eligible to win a plain blue Tshirt!"
-Perd Hapley clearly knows what chemicals are.
-Nothing's crueler than sticking a woman in a lime green pantsuit. "It will be so unflattering. You're clearly an autumn."
"The Cones of Dunshire":
-This is quite a week for Councilman Jamm, who not only tries to stop the flouride plan, but also to stop Leslie from getting to use her collected funds to build her ideal park. And he doesn't make it easy for Leslie to court him in order to change his mind.
-After seeing his apartment, it makes much more sense why he's so proud of his car. "I got an Asian girl to sit in it once."
-He also has some insider advice about edamame. "You eat the shells and discard the seeds."
-And when enjoying karaoke, there's only once choice of song ("Summer Nights," from Grease) and one choice of part (Sandy for him, Danny for Leslie). The accompanying jackets are a nice touch.
-The titular makeshift tabletop game should have been the focus of the episode, as Ben's unemployment projects tend to be. And, as with his stop-motion animation, he instantly realizes "this is nothing."
-Here, Tom and Donna try to sell Ron's bachelor cabin off to some truly annoying and out of place hipster stereotypes, but the story manages to wrap up sweetly when Ron realized the only person would really take care of the place is April.
-Great fakeout with those accountants. At first, it seems like Ben might have to prove himself, but he does so instantly, and is beloved. Calzones for all! And was it wrong to wish that Ben would actually stick it out and get to stay big man on campus for once after playing second fiddle to Leslie in every aspect of his life for so long?
-I hope we don't see Councilman Jamm again anytime soon, not only because his constant repetative antagonism is making me hate Jon Glaser, but because the way he goes out in this episode is so perfect. "Leslie, you're my best friend too."
Stars including pop singer Pixie Lott and supermodel Jerry Hall turned out to support a fundraiser in honour of Amy Winehouse in London on Wednesday night (20Nov13). The late singer's parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse, hosted the Amy Winehouse Foundation's third annual benefit, which raises funds for the charitable organisation set up in the star's memory following her death in July, 2011.
The Winehouse family was joined by celebrities including Lott, Hall, actress Barbara Windsor and JLS star Oritse Williams, who all had kind words to say about the tragic Back To Black hitmaker.
Williams said, "Amy was one of my biggest musical inspirations. I studied her albums when I was a kid so I had to be here."
Hall added, "She was so talented. What a loss," while Lott said, "I love anyone who's got a soulful, amazing voice and she definitely had that. My favourite song was Love is a Losing Game because of the amount of soul that's in it."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The Kennedy clan has welcomed a new addition after Patrick Kennedy's wife gave birth to a baby girl. Nora Kennedy, who is Edward Kennedy's granddaughter, was born on Tuesday (19Nov13).
Her mum Amy Petitgout gave birth to the tot at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in New Jersey.
A statement from former Congressman Kennedy reads, "Amy and I are thrilled to welcome Nora to our family and are thrilled that both mom and baby are doing well today."
Kennedy wed the teacher in 2011 and the couple welcomed son Owen last year (Apr12). Petitgout has a five-year-old daughter, Harper, from a previous marriage.
Annual British charity gig series the Little Noise Sessions has been cancelled. The London concerts have been held since 2006 to raise money for the charity Mencap, which helps people with learning disabilities, and the shows have previously featured performances from acts including Amy Winehouse, Noel Gallagher, Adele and Coldplay.
However, organisers have now confirmed the 2013 concerts, which were due to take place next month (Dec13), will not go ahead.
A statement reads, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, this year's Little Noise Sessions has been cancelled and we're taking a year out. Thank you for all your love and support. Please bear with us and we'll be back soon."
Singer Lily Allen retired her outspoken pop star persona after the grief of a miscarriage forced her to change her views on life. The Smile hitmaker sparked controversy in the early years of her career by picking fights with stars including Sir Elton John, Katy Perry, Amy Winehouse and Kylie Minogue.
This month (Nov13), she is launching a musical comeback after taking a three-year hiatus to start a family with her husband Sam Cooper, and she has revealed her baby tragedy in 2010, when her son was stillborn at six months, made her reassess her attitude.
Allen tells The Observer Magazine, "Before... this, before what happened to Sam and I happened, I was quite vocal. I complained about a lot of things. I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to grieve with someone I loved. There are women who have to deal with this on their own, so even though it was tragic, I knew where I was in the world and the people who were important to me and what mattered, and what didn't. The thing I took away from this was that I couldn't believe I'd ever complained about anything ever before in my life."
However, Allen also warns her critics she is considering a repeat of her previous outspoken antics now she is back in the spotlight: "I'm finally ready to complain again now."
Allen now has two children, daughters Ethel, who turns two this month (Nov13), and 10-month-old Marnie.
Actor Andrew Shue's TV reporter wife, Amy Robach, is recovering in hospital after undergoing a double mastectomy. The ABC News anchor discovered she was battling breast cancer after agreeing to have a mammogram on camera for U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America during Breast Cancer Awareness Month last month (Oct13).
She announced her shocking diagnosis live on air on Monday (11Nov13) and went under the knife to have both of her breasts removed on Thursday (14Nov13) in an effort to cut out the potentially-deadly disease.
Former Melrose Place star Shue has since taken to Robach's Twitter.com blog to update fans on her progress and thank them for their support on his wife's behalf.
He writes, "on behalf of my brave girl. She came through surgery beautifully. And so appreciates the genuine love and support."