George Clooney's wife has seen off competition from Taylor Swift and Scarlett Johansson to be named Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of 2014.
British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has topped the TV personality's annual list of influential people, with Walters likening her to timeless beauties including late British royal Diana, Princess of Wales and Jackie Kennedy.
Walters says, "What does it take to fascinate one of the most fascinating men in the world? She is known primarily through her spouse and while we know little about her we know a great deal about him and he has fascinated many women... Especially me. Amal Alamuddin, known now as Amal Clooney, is suddenly in that stratosphere that we reserve for the Jackie Os and the Princess Dis and Kate Middletons... That is everything she does, says or wears is officially fascinating."
Amal married the Hollywood actor in September (14) and has been propelled into the limelight since the nuptials.
Other names featured on Walters' list include Scarlett Johansson, Neil Patrick Harris, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor Swift.
U.S. TV personality Samantha Harris has declared herself cancer-free, six months after undergoing a double mastectomy. The former Dancing with the Stars co-host had her breasts removed in May (14) after discovering a cancerous lump and doctors have now given her the all clear.
Harris tells People.com, "When I officially got past my second stage of reconstruction surgery, which was the third surgery I'd had this year, and I reached that six-week mark after surgery, that was when I got the all clear.
"I could do whatever I wanted, resume normal activities, and I was elated to get to that point... It's an elusive other side that people talk about when you're first diagnosed with breast cancer, and I'm officially now on the other side."
Harris is setting up an organisation to help other women who have been diagnosed with cancer.
U.S. TV personality Samantha Harris is recovering after undergoing a double mastectomy for breast cancer this week (begs19May14). The former Dancing with the Stars co-host was diagnosed with the disease last year (13) after discovering a lump in her right breast.
Australian model Samantha Harris is facing the prospect of four years without her future husband after he was jailed for his part in a fatal car accident. Harris' fiance Luke Hunt, 28, has been sentenced to four years behind bars for hitting and killing a 78-year-old man in Sydney, Australia in 2012 while driving through the city with his famous lover.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and was handed a four-year prison sentence and a six-and-a-half year road ban on Wednesday (14May14).
Harris, 23, was not in court in Sydney for the sentencing.
U.S. TV personality Samantha Harris will undergo a double mastectomy later this month (Apr14). The former Dancing with the Stars co-host found a lump in her breast last year (13) but a mammogram scan came back all clear. It was not until she saw a breast cancer specialist months later that she was diagnosed with the disease.
Harris admits she felt "calmer" once she made the decision to have her breasts removed, telling People.com, "I was sick of feeling the way that I did in the days after the diagnosis. I knew I needed to take control."
A few seconds after the final episode of How I Met Your Mother came to a baffling close and commercials for some travesty starring James Van Der Beek began to roll, my roommate — longtime fan of the show and a fellow to whose slapping wrath I have fallen victim thanks to an ill-conceived bet made two years back — asked if I had “seen that one coming.” I hadn’t.
Sure, I had read the theories. I had discussed them with friends and hostile Internet strangers. I had fostered a few in my recaps — Robin and Barney get divorced? Of course. The Mother dies? They all but told us that was going to happen! Ted and Robin get back together after Robin and Barney get divorced and The Mother dies? … Stranger things! — but something inside of me felt that How I Met Your Mother, for all its mind games and sleight of hand, couldn’t go that far. None of this would ever happen. So, familiar as I was with the possibilities, I was ethereally blindsided by the results of the finale:
Barney and Robin got divorced. The Mother died. Ted and Robin, in the very final moments of the episode — following an hour that spanned 15 years, introduced Ted to professional bassist and blossoming philanthropist Tracy McConnell with whom he'd have two kids and (subsequently) a MacLaren’s wedding, and tossed Lily and Marshall a third child, plus one for a post-divorce Barney — wound up together. Or, at least, Ted hopped back on the prowl for his old flame.
I didn't know what to think. Had my roommate's subtle affirmation of the episode not been the first opinion I heard thereafter, I might have fallen into the oppositional camp, like the handful of friends with whom I'd then communicate through tweets, texts, Gchats, Facebook group messages — I swear, people only voluntarily contact me following controversial series finales — who all hated it. Truly. Viscerally. Carnally. Although there was diversity in the anti-finale rationale, I noticed a running theme: "This isn't what we were promised."
Somehow, spiting its well-worn practice of duping its viewers — a practice dating back to the pilot, we might add, and spanning through huge series turns like Barney's relationship with Quinn, the death of Marshall's dad, Robin's faux-children — How I Met Your Mother had maintained many a viewer's trust that the story it "promised" it was telling was, in fact, the story it was telling. And to further highlight the peculiarity of this trust, we have to ask: was it ever really the show telling us that we were going to learn how Ted met the mother of his children, or simply Ted himself — a hopeless romantic who we knew from day one saw the world through a particularly thick, idealistic set of rose-colored glasses?
I can't fault the folks who held fast to this trust. Those who waited years for The Mother, grew attached to Cristin Milioti's bubbly ukulele player, and wanted to see Ted spend the rest of his life with her. My friends called Tracy "perfect" for Ted, and she sure as heck was. In fact, my primary critique of the finale is that I would have liked to see more of their time together over the 10 years between their union and her death. Time spent delighting in one another's company, raising in their kids, experiencing their shared love. Time that would have proved that Ted's refurbished yearning for Robin many years down the line wasn't an invalidation of The Mother, his quest to meet her, or the series that was ostensibly framed in her honor, but in fact just evidence for the simple fact: people love.
People can fall so deeply in love, as Ted did with Robin, and then fall so deeply in love, as Ted did with Tracy... and then fall so deeply in love, as Ted did, again, with Robin. None of it detracts from that which came before, or expels the possibility of that which might come later on. Although Rosses and Rachels galore might have us believe otherwise, those lucky enough to be as wise as Ted's kids (and not as shortsighted as Ted, circa 2005 or 2030) will recognize that a true blue love story isn't... anything in particular.
That was Ted's mistake when we met him in '05. He had an idea of what love had to be: he saw it in Marshall and Lily, and feared its downfall in the likes of Barney, and hoped it might come to form between he and Robin. And it was Ted's mistake when we met him in '30. He thought that, having spent years devoted to Tracy — his wife, the mother of his children, the bearer of his umbrella — he couldn't possibly love another. Forget that, he convinced himself that he couldn't possibly have ever loved another before. Ted worked hard, despite the earnest truth so clear to viewers and his kinderlacht, to affirm that his years spent cherishing Robin were all just preparation for his meant to be. No woman — especially none that had come before Tracy, and especially one that would remain in his life after her passing — could mean as much to him as she did.
But that doesn't have to be. It's sweet, in its way, and I can't really lament the idea of anyone championing anything that well-intentioned. But it's also sad. Ted, now alone, feels as though he deserves to stay that way, lest he betray the idea that he ever really loved Tracy. But his falling in love with Robin (I hesitate even to say falling back in love, since its a new journey altogether) doesn't make his love for Tracy any less the beauty that it was. For as long as we've known him, we've waited with Ted for his own run at the Lily and Marshall game. The inclusion of, and frequent references to, them as the commercial ideal for love has been an important staple in this show's mission to disrupt the propagation of such. Beside Lily and Marshall, we have Barney. The antithesis of their M.O. in every way, but whose own journeys with love wound up satisfying in no small form: in the finale, Barney found a different type of soul mate, true love, one-and-only: his daughter Ellie, whose addition gave the finale, and Barney's story, a special breath of warmth that I think even the detractors were fond of. She changed him. She filled the part of him that he had long known to be broken. Never in regards to Nora, Quinn, or even Robin have we seen Barney as whole as when he stared into the eyes of his newborn child for the first time and vowed to give her every single piece of himself for as long as he lived.
Though again, that is singular love. The sort we longtime TV junkies are comfortable with. Not the sort we saw befall Ted in the final moments, when he decided to cap his tale about his adoration for one woman with the decision to profess his adoration for another... something we should have been more prepared for, considering Tracy's own experience with losing her "soul mate," and subsequent decision (if you can even call it that) to pursue love in a refreshingly charming Mosby boy. Hell, even Robin and Barney's short-lived marriage can be tossed into the conversation. Barney affirms, in a fashion that I do not believe was meant for laughs nor as a defense mechanism by the often sardonic Mr. Stinson, that theirs was "a very successful marriage that only lasted three years." Who's to say that such a thing cannot be? Not all relationships are meant to last forever. But they might very well be meant just the same.
Admittedly, there are many imperfections to the ultimate delivery of the tale. As suggested above, we didn't really get to revel in the era of Ted and Tracy, which might well have been just what we needed to feel satisfied that their own story, one of abject importance, was given its due. To reiterate, Tracy was perfect for Ted. Too perfect, maybe. Too exemplary of the very idea of a "perfect match," to the end that her and Ted's relationship — and the "fate" that landed them together — might have undone the ultimate message of the show were we to spend any more time with them, and foster the idea that this sort of love should be championed above the rest. Call me weak, but I still can't help but wish we had seen a little more Mosby-McConnell magic.
The closing reveal might be used to defend this shortcoming; as this is a story told by a narrator waist-deep in a flourishing love for another woman, how can we expect him to focus so much attention on the wife he lost? Well, as is the entire point that How I Met Your Mother seems bent on making, one does not nullify another. The death of Tracy's lover back in 2005 didn't keep her from falling for Ted. Ted's boundless attempts at winning Robin's heart didn't stop him from loving Tracy. And the passing of Tracy years later wouldn't save Ted from his affections for that gun-lovin', Ghostbusters-quotin', daddy issues-havin' Canadian lass. So, really, we should have seen more of her, at the very least in this final hour. Because the show wants us to believe that Ted did indeed love Tracy, with all his heart. And, now, years later, does indeed love Robin. With all his heart. That's possible. That can happen. That is okay.
So, to all detractors with whom I spoke, I have to concede: in the driving home of this message, How I Met Your Mother did not in fact deliver on its promise. Its promise, straight from the nuclear-powered mouth of a man whose maxims had been drawn from the idealized romance of Hollywood yore, was to give us something of that ilk. Something singular, indelible, incomparable, impossible. No, I'm not saying that "true love" is impossible. I'm saying that it is impossible for all of us to believe we will live out a carbon teleplay of the love that we've all seen in the shows and films that shape the young Teds of the world. That's not how it's going to be. That's not how it has to be. How I Met Your Mother very intentionally broke its promise in order to tell us something important: there is no one kind of true love story.
A very special thank you to all who stuck with me through the past few years of How I Met Your Mother recaps, to my pal Robbie for lending me his season DVDs (I will give them back someday, I promise), to Mike, Michelle, and Zach for riveting and diplomatic conversation, and to my roommate Matt... who still owes me three slaps.
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For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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It's not simply the Tinseltown drawbridge that places legacy celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow on the other side of the castle walls. It’s that she is so well-meaning she seems to have no idea we can’t wear flip-flops to work. So please, G, let me spell it out for you.
1) You work even though you don't have to. We'd be at the beach every day.
2) Most of us can't be Googled. And definitely not by first name only.
3) While it is cool that the duvet covers at London’s Connaught Hotel have a turn down flap instead of buttons at the bottom, some of us don’t have a duvet.
4) We rarely get photographed on our Vespas.
5) You told E! Online that the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum in New York is “unfun.” Okay, we all know that, but most of us drag ourselves to it anyway.
6) You said your wood burning pizza oven is the best investment you ever made. My broker never even told me about that one. Can I get his name?
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The 2013 Emmy campaigns have been in full force over the past few weeks and we've been covering them for what promises to be television's biggest night of the year! Cable programs have come into their own while the broadcast networks continue to step it up in response. Studio System News has been watching and covering the whole process - to see our 2013 Emmy predictions by category and our reasoning behind them, read the report at Studio System News.
Focus Films/Everett CollectionWith Big Fish and Little Miss Sunshine opening on Broadway in the fall, American Psycho debuting in London to droves of lucky Brits and rumors of Mean Girls casting (how fetch), the Great White Way is getting the silver screen treatment. Read on for more movies that we think should be infused with jazz hands and soprano.Brokeback MountainGay men and the women who love them – Broadway's biggest draw – will flock to the theaters to see this sweeping story come to life. Complete with tension, tumbleweeds, sensuality and a harrowing first act ballad when Alma realizes her husband prefers cowmen. Our dream casting: Benjamin Walker and Neil Patrick Harris, with Anne Hathaway reprising her film role and her topless-ness.Forrest GumpThis four-act operetta will take us through three decades of song as we follow our fabled hero through 'Nam and heartache. Not since Les Mis's "Castle on a Cloud" will a song performed by a wispy 8-year-old girl stir us more emotionally than Jenny's "I Wish I was a Bird." We predict Tony Awards for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as best actor, and Twyla Tharp for her inspired choreography of tapping truffles during Forrest's show-stopping, "Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates: 'Naw Mean?"Desperately Seeking SusanThe campy 80's pop musical Broadway has been waiting for (since Rock of Ages). Dream casting: Madonna (obviously).A League of Their Own
Cue the chorus boys in uniform! Rosie O'Donnell returns to headline this feel-good feminist period piece. We’d cast Alan Cumming as Jimmy Dugan, the craggly team manager. Just because.Overboard
When entitled rich-chick Joanna falls off her yacht and comes down with a wickedly funny case of amnesia, swash-buckling hilarity ensues as she starts a new life as a pauper mom and, for the first time, discovers true love. We’ll bring Randy Newman back to write a few ditties. Hey, it worked for Anything Goes and Titanic.
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