Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Evil Hollywood

I think Hollywood is inherently evil and not a place for people like me, but that doesn't stop me from being fascinated with it.

I never got around to talking about last year's Oscar party and now this year's is over. Host M did his usual fantastic job. We arrived at 2, played several brilliantly crafted multimedia games, ate, watched the red carpet with catty comments (What's with all the stubble? Did Scarlett Johansson and Helena Bonham Carter purposely do their hair that way?), and watched the show, with whimsical prizes for drawing winners.

One bonus this year was that I have a connection to one of the nominees: Ryan Silbert, producer of Best Live Action Short "God of Love," is the son of my high school classmate Marc (and his wife Peggy, my sister's classmate). So I screamed when it won, even though I didn't have that card in the prize pool. Filmmaker Luke Matheny's acceptance speech was charming, and much kvelling ensued throughout the land, or at least on Facebook.

I finished some books in this vein, both fiction and nonfiction:

"Lightning Field" by Dana Spiotta - Actually, I gave up on this novel after 61 pages. Although it was chosen as a "notable book" by the New York Times and "book of the year" by the LA Times, it must have been too highbrow for me. I never was sure what was going on.

"Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood" by Robby Benson - I saw the author in the teen romance movie "Jeremy" in 1973, and he's since branched out into writing, composing and directing. He really knows Hollywood and skewers it in this novel. After a sitcom director's accidental death by nail gun, outsider J.T. Baker is brought in to run the show. If real producers, writers, and stars are as crazy, evil and just plain dumb as these characters... yikes! Fun to read. It's probably no coincidence that J.T.'s son is named Jeremy.

"Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography" by Andrew Morton - Tom Cruise has a very carefully crafted image, and I don't want to get sued, so I'll just say... well, I won't say anything.

"When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man" by Jerry Weintraub (with Rich Cohen) - Weintraub is a producer who has worked with some big names (Sinatra and Elvis among them) and has stories to tell. Nothing really nasty or dirty, just tales from an amiable, well-connected raconteur.

"When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror" by Carol Leifer - I saw the author's stand-up act when I went to comedy clubs in the '70s. She's an ex of Jerry Seinfeld, who I also saw during that era. Since then, she's continued to do comedy and has written for TV. She also acquired a longtime female partner, adopted a son, and became an animal lover. I could not always relate, and the book wasn't riotously funny, but it had its moments.

"Celebutards: The Hollywood Hacks, Limousine Liberals, and Pandering Politicians Who Are Destroying America" by Andrea Peyser - I like reading about clueless, egomaniacal celebs as much as anyone, but this book's "Ewwww, Liberals" slant took away some of the fun.


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