If you haven't, you can hear it now. Twice. First, Glenn Close has signed to reprise her role as Norma Desmond in a film musical of Sunset Boulevard. The musical, of course, was based on one of the greatest American movies of all time, though considering the adaptation is by Andrew Lloyd Webber, I have a feeling that it is not one of the greatest American musicals of all time. True, Norma's signature track, number, "As Though We Never Said Goodbye," is pretty enough, and Glenn's performance at the Tonys in 1995 was memorable. I love Glenn. I'm excited that she's been crawling back into the spotlight with the current arthouse release Heights, even though I'll be stunned if the movie is better than mediocre.
Perhaps, however, someone can explain to me how Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman have both signed on as co-stars? Assuming the musical is reasonably close to the film, I can't think of who the second younger man could be....
Meanwhile, also ready for their closeups are the increasingly ghoulish Tom Cruise, his zombie betrothed, and her "Scientology chaperone." Whaaa?? The indomitable Safire tipped her readers off to this hot-off-the-press W Magazine interview with the brainwashed ingénue itself. I swear, the photo you see at left is a still from the W photo spread, not from the upcoming Tim Burton animated opus The Corpse Bride. Seriously. I wouldn't lie about this.
How did Katie Holmes go so quickly from being the interesting upstart making smart, durable choices—Go, Wonder Boys, The Ice Storm—into this empty-headed vessel of pre-teen bubble-gum babble? How is anyone gon' sign up for a "religion" in which it is a recognized practice for the most devoted worshippers to commit themselves to the church for a period of a billion years? Seriously, read the article.
TomKat is more than a celebrity flare-up. It is genuinely grotesque, a real-life invasion of the body snatchers, except that "real life" doesn't really seem to play into it, anywhere. I continue to maintain that Tom Cruise is not gay, and I had George Michael pegged back in the days of Faith, so listen up, scouts. The 'dar is not pinging. Actually, that pinging sound you keep hearing is just the echo that results when a gust of air blows into Tom Cruise's ear.
So that is the big state secret: Tom Cruise isn't gay, he's just monumentally cocooned inside a narcissistic mental matrix of his own making, and now he has kickstarted the solenoids inside his greatest creation, a woman who says nothing except "I love you, Tom," in the manner of a parrot...which, come to think of it, was the same manner in which Katie delivered her performance in Batman Begins. Maybe that's the secret nature of their blood pact: she won't tell anyone that he's crazy like a platypus, and he won't fess up that she, under all the makeup, is not a humanoid at all, but a trained bird.
If Tom® and Katie™ want to go make sweet, naïve, plasticine, new-money, mumbo-jumbo, Mattel-style love under the polestar of L. Ron Hubbard, then let them have at it. But so long as they're chilling in outer space, could they send us back one of those cool memory-wipers from Men in Black? I'm trying to forget that I ever took either of them seriously. And as for the future, Katie, when you pen your Little Girl Lost tell-all book about how you just had, like, no. idea. what it would feel like to have the whole Cruise® PR Machine crashing down on your every move, shadowing every flick of your diamond jewelry and every maniacal cackle emitted by your daddy-substitute, I. am. not. buying. it.
I don't even think this relationship is a "hoax," per se. I think it's what happens when dumb people fall in love, loudly, in front of microphones. It doesn't even count as a fatal attraction, or a dangerous liaison, and it's more than a reversal of fortune, and more than a big chill. To use the only Glenn Close title that applies in this context, this is what it looks like when Mars attacks. Or, to plunder Katie's own filmography, this is straight-up Disturbing Behavior.