Cassidy, Gomez and Meester will play teenage friends who pretend to be wealthy women in Monaco.
And Disney sweetheart Gomez admits she's going to be completely starstruck on the set - because she's a big fan of Kidman and MacDowell - and loves Gossip Girl, Melrose Place and Glee, which all star her castmates.
She says, "I'm a huge fan... I've met Nicole and she was very sweet and very excited, so I'm very thrilled."
Kline portrays a failed-playwright-turned-high-class-escort in the film, starring Katie Holmes and Paul Dano.
And he insists wooing women for cash is the same as entertaining theatregoers in exchange for a paycheck.
He tells the New York Daily News, "It was easy, because that is me! When I was on Broadway, that's pretty much what I did - entertain (rich people) in exchange for their money."
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Julie & Julia melds the analogous stories of cooking legend Julia Child’s life in 1950s France with the modern-day tale of writer Julie Powell’s real-life quest to prepare all 524 recipes in Child’s classic tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The film neatly covers Child’s life in post-World War II Paris with her foreign diplomat husband Paul her foray into and eventual mastery of French cooking and the difficulties she encountered while trying to publish her groundbreaking cookbook. Intercut with Child's story is Powell’s decision to shake up her life as an unfulfilled government employee in post-9/11 New York by challenging herself to cook and blog. Her inevitable trials (she burns an important meal gets in trouble at work and pisses off her husband) and victories (a perfectly poached egg a write-up in the New York Times) are all included.
WHO’S IN IT?
Ever lovely Amy Adams plays endearingly bedraggled Julie with hopeful conviction and Chris Messina is cute and convincing as her sweetly supportive husband. It is of course Meryl Streep who steals the show with her joyful high-energy portrayal of the 6-foot-2 master chef. Streep as she is apt to do turns in a nuanced humanizing and wholly hilarious portrayal of a cultural icon many associate with Dan Akroyd's impressions on Saturday Night Live.
Stanley Tucci proves a savvy charismatic match for Streep as Paul Child Julia’s affectionate charming and unflinchingly supportive husband. Jane Lynch momentarily steals Streep’s spotlight as Julia’s equally tall equally whirling dervishy sister Dorothy.
Julie’s life in Queens is populated by Mary Lynn Rajskub who plays her pragmatic friend and Casey Wilson and Vanessa Ferlito who make memorable cameos as Julie’s condescending corporate ladder-climbing carb-avoiding frenemies.
All of it. Nora Ephron’s script elegantly weaves the story of Child in Paris and Powell in Queens portraying both locales as the prettiest freshest versions of themselves. The film is a joy to look at not only for the sumptuous shots of Powell’s many creations and Child’s rich French fare but also for the pristine recreation of the style and fashion of 1950s Paris. It will make you want to drink champagne cocktails wear chiffon and eat chocolate cake. And beef. And bruschetta. And anything else available.
The film is superbly acted and manages to be funny inspiring and poignant without falling into schlocky chick-flick territory. The story is refreshing in its depiction of two happy drama-free marriages. The true romance here is with all the gorgeous food which Streep Tucci Adams and especially Messina consume with joyful gusto.
At just over two hours the film runs a bit long especially for a comedy. Although it never slows or bores several scenes about publishing the cookbook could have been shortened or cut completely to pick up the pace. While the ending is lovely the film then wraps up a bit hastily.
Julia first learning her cookbook might be published and frenetically rushing into the house screaming “Paul! Paul Paul Paul!” while nearly tripping over herself has just a slight advantage over the scene in which Julie confronts her moral dilemma about killing lobsters and is subsequently traumatized while boiling them alive.
Finely crafted from start to finish Meryl and the food take the cake so to speak in terms of star power. The movie is lighthearted fare for anyone desiring inspiration in the kitchen — or any other life department for that matter.
On the surface Kevin Smith has crafted a clever concept a ragtag group attempts to make a porno film in order to get some quick cash. The underlying story is the platonic relationship between roommates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) whose friendship goes to a whole new level once they find themselves out of cash and decide to cast themselves in their own triple XXX film. After meeting a gay adult film actor at a party Zack comes up with the get-rich quick idea to make a porn movie enlisting Miri’s help and convincing her that it will not affect their friendship. They set about casting the rest of the film with a disparate group of participants including the very self confident sex maniac Lester (Jason Mewes) superstud Barry (Ricky Mabe) gorgeous blonde bombshell Stacey (adult film icon Katie Morgan) and daring kinky Bubbles (legendary Traci Lords). What seemed like a simple proposition turns complicated when Zack and Miri in the heat of simulated lovemaking and in front of the whole crew discover they may be more than just friends. Even considering his great work in Knocked Up Zack is Rogen’s most accomplished character to date a lovable loser who uses last-ditch initiative to turn his life around and in the process discovers more than he ever bargained for. Chemistry is a tricky thing but Rogen certainly has it in spades with co-star Banks who takes what could have been a broadly sketched role and turns Miri into a three-dimensional woman who doesn’t even realize her true soul mate may be right under her nose --literally. You root for these two all the way. The wonderful supporting cast is unique to say the least including adult film star Katie Morgan making her mainstream debut as the ditzy Stacey. After some 200 “real” XXX films she graduates to the big leagues in style and shows she may have a future outside of her niche. Lords who made that leap some time ago niftily sends up her own former image and shows fine comic chops and a willingness to dress deliciously inappropriately. As for the guys Mabe is very funny but Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob) lets loose with a hilarious and totally uninhibited portrayal of a sex addicted tattooed dude willing and able to do anything on camera. Also nearly stealing the show is The Office’s Craig Robinson a married crew member who is excited to help out buddy Zack because he wants to see “titties.” And in extended cameos Justin Long as a gay porn star and Superman Brandon Routh have a great time sending up their straight movie images playing bickering boyfriends. Kevin Smith has always gone for the jugular challenging the ratings boards and pushing the envelope in his films ever since the classic “dirty movie” Clerks made him famous. But not since his early films such as Chasing Amy has he showed such style and maturity as a filmmaker as he does in Zack and Miri his most outrageously hilarious and accomplished movie to date. Yes he does continue going for shock value (there’s a laugh-out-loud moment involving a certain bodily function natch) but his story is grounded in reality recognizably human and engaging. He milks this genius comic premise for all its worth but gives it an extra dimension that makes it different unexpected and finally memorable. Mostly though it’s just plain fun.
Top Story: Lopez Tops ET's Hot List
Syndicated TV show Entertainment Tonight chose Jennifer Lopez as their No. 1 "Hot List" star of 2003, AP reports. The list is comprised of celebrities who have received the most mentions on the show during the year. Following Lopez, the remaining top 10 was as follows: Jennifer Aniston, Michael Jackson, Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears and Demi Moore.
Holmes, Klein Get Engaged
Looks like wedding bells will be ringing for former Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes and her honey, American Pie star Chris Klein, a spokesperson for the actress confirmed to People.com on Tuesday. Holmes, 25, and Klein, 24, have been dating for five years. In October, when People magazine asked Holmes of their relationship, she responded: "Things are very good. Thank God." No wedding date has been set.
254 Films Up for Academy Awards
The 76th Annual Academy Award for Best Picture will be chosen from a list of 254 feature-length films, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday. To be eligible, a 35 mm, 70 mm or digital film must be longer than 40 minutes and have opened in a commercial theater between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 and run for seven consecutive days. The 76th Academy Award nominations will be announced at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Singer's Death May Not Be Suicide
The stab wounds that killed singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, best known for his 1997 Oscar-nominated single "Miss Misery" from the film Good Will Hunting, could not be officially ruled as self-inflicted by the Los Angeles' coroner's office, Reuters reports. Smith, 34, who had been taking anti-depressants and medication for attention deficit disorder at the time, was found in his home in October by his live-in girlfriend, dead from what the police called a suicide. The autopsy report has now left the nature of Smith's wounds an open question. "The trauma that he sustained could have been inflicted by him or by another and the coroner has not been able to make a determination," coroner's spokesman David Campbell told Reuters. Authorities say they will keep the case open upon further investigation.
Fox Airs Simple Life Original
Fox plans to show a one-hour original episode of The Simple Life, which chronicles the lives of rich girls Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on an Arkansas farm, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m., with the season finale to the reality series airing Jan. 14 at 8:30 p.m.
Jackson Interview Propels CBS to Ratings Win
CBS' 60 Minutes interview with Michael Jackson helped the network win the ratings race for the week of Dec. 22-28, with nearly 18.8 million viewers tuning in, the AP reports. CBS won the week, averaging 9.7 million viewers followed by ABC (8.1 million); NBC (7.3 million); Fox (6 million); the WB (2.7 million); and UPN (2.6 million). The top 10 shows were: 60 Minutes, CBS; NFL Post Game Show, CBS; NFL Monday Night Football: Green Bay at Oakand, ABC; CSI: Miami, CBS; NFL Monday Showcase, ABC; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS; Two and a Half Men, CBS; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; Without a Trace, CBS; Law & Order: SVU, NBC.
New Syndicated Sitcoms May Lose to Veterans
As stable comedy sitcoms such as The Bernie Mac Show and Malcolm in the Middle hit the lucrative syndication market, television analysts are saying they may have trouble against veterans such as Seinfeld, Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond. According to the Hollywood Reporter, a report on the sitcom market from New York-based consulting firm Katz Television says the new entries will be competing for slots with veteran reruns that show no signs of fading. This is bad news for sitcom producers and profit participants who usually count on raking in mega-bucks when their shows enter syndication, usually after four years. TV producer Chuck Larsen told the Reporter, "The fact is that most off-network sitcoms do a single cycle in syndication and then move on. It's very unusual to have this many sitcoms getting such healthy numbers. So if you have four classic sitcoms going through the renewal stage, they will certainly eat up shelf space and so make it more difficult for new shows to work their way onto the air."
Katie (Katie Holmes) is a hard-working college student eager to complete her thesis. Her gregarious boyfriend Embry (Charlie Hunnam) disappeared without a trace two years earlier and police detective Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt) has started investigating the case again. Katie is plagued by memories of Embry and her flashbacks triggered by familiar settings such as the choir room where they met or the ice rink where they had their first date illustrate the type of relationship they had. Clearly Katie was in awe of Embry and placed him on a pedestal while Embry was less enamoured with her prim demeanor. But Katie's problems don't end with Embry's haunting. She also has a fear of abandonment because her father left her when she was just an infant. With all this mental anguish it's no wonder the poor girl can't get a decent nights' sleep. When the therapist she's been seeing makes a pass at her a troubled Katie finds herself turning to Wade for solace and opening up a whole new can of worms. Wade soon finds his fuzzy feelings for Katie are clouding his judgement in the case and he's forced to choose between her the case and even his career.
Holmes who starred in the 2000 dramatic thriller The Gift is known to most as the sweet and wholesome Joey Potter from the WB's Dawson's Creek. Here her character Katie is an edgy academic with some heavy-duty issues that make her a bit of a tortured soul. Holmes however lacks the range to transform her character into much more than a troubled college student which makes it difficult to accept her sinister metamorphosis. Katie's neediness makes her attraction to Wade understandable in theory since he seems like he has it together but it doesn't translate to chemistry on the screen. While Bratt (TV's Law & Order Pinero) does give Wade a lost-dog feel the character is too underdeveloped; apart from the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic we never get to see what's underneath the surface. The third player in the dysfunctional love triangle is the missing boyfriend Embry played by Hunnam (Fox's short-lived college series Undeclared). Embry's character--brought to life in fashbacks--is one of the most intriguing ones in the film. Hunnam fits the role of the rich and rebellious student perfectly; it's too bad he wasn't the main focus of the film.
Scribe Stephen Gaghan who won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his Traffic screenplay makes his directorial debut with Abandon. Although Gaghan's story is intriguing in its early stages it quickly becomes predictable and chances are you'll have it figured out by the halfway mark. The story's biggest problem is that it never masters the art of trickery but instead uses blatantly deceitful tactics and false alarms to lead the audience to the wrong conclusions. It's a cheap and instant way to create a twist in an otherwise uncomplicated story. The film has some good moments though including the depiction of college life and first job interview jitters but the story falls flat when the characters show their true colors. In fact once you've figured it out it becomes outright funny. With McGill University as the primary setting the film was shot entirely in Montreal Canada--so there are plenty of creepy tunnel scenes. But neither that nor the film's hair-raising score--complete with eerie lullaby vocals--makes this film remotely scary.