Celebritology Live

Sep 06, 2012

Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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Here! Sorry I was late. Meetings. Let's do this.

I recently rewatched "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and, as always, was moved to tears by the recitation of W.H. Auden's poem "Funeral Blues" during the titular funeral. Can you (or other chatters) think of movies with great poems in them? Might this be a Friday list topic?

I like that idea as a Friday list.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" from "The Outsiders" immediately pops to mind. Walt Whitman, from "Dead Poet's Society" and, more recently, "Breaking Bad," is another.

Anyone got others?

I can't help myself, I will watch this on DVD when it comes out. I know it will likely be terrible, but I will still have to watch it, like some sick sequel compulsion. I am THE person who watched Police Academy 7. Yes, that's right, there was a SEVENTH Police Academy movie and I watched it. I'm a sick, sick person, I know.

Wait, you're THE Police Academy 7 person? I always wondered who that was. I am honored that you're joining this chat.

I am going to watch this sequel and write about it. It seems necessary even though watching Daniel Stern say "It's a clinker!" in that trailer actually made my innards shrivel up and turn black.

How come no one mentions his role in "Talledega Nights"? Now THAT was a great movie.

I saw it mentioned in a few obits. "Green Mile" was his most well-known role, not to mention his first really big one, so I think that gets extra attention for good reason.

I might have complained less. Now I fee like a jerk since they all seem to be acutely aware of fan complaints as they talk about it in the EW interview. I'm sorry Darryl!!

They're adults, they can take it. Although Steven Yeun's comments made me feel kind of bad. (Glenn! We love you Glenn! We know you work hard even though you guys went back and forth to town for an entire season!)

I think it's interesting that Andrew Lincoln doesn't watch. Also this statement could have been taken directly from an interview with someone from "Lost": "All I knew is, I always had a sense that they wanted to play it out as a big movie. They always wanted to say that it’s a big story we’re telling and if you stick with it you will be rewarded."

I don' want to start a big poitical debate here, but watching Bill's speech last night I was reminded what politics and the conventions used to be like. They used to be great entertainment with some wonky stuff thrown in. Now they're humorless mean events. That's why Bill was such a breath of fresh air! And to think 20 years ago he was something new; now he's an elder statesman. Loved him! (and I'm not a Dem, either)

I thought he was great, although -- as is typical of the former President -- he spoke about 15 minutes too long.

I wonder if the conventions were better "back in the day" or if they just seemed better because as a culture, we weren't as savvy about the machinery behind all of it. Just throwing that out there as a thought that may be totally off-base.

Last night was another night where decision making almost killed me. I flipped between HBB, MLB and then my husband arrived and threw in some football, modern family and we forgot about Clinton's speech. We are schmucks. And we are new parents so I wisely used my time to shower and wash my hair. Am I redeemed for defending HoneyBooBoo-watching last week? I was in bed by 10 which is fantastic.

If you watched "Modern Family" instead of Honey Boo Boo, then yes, you are redeemed. (Honestly, you don't need redemption. As I said last week, this is a safe place where we don't judge your TV-viewing habits ... well, at least not too much.)

Tonight the VMAs -- which we'll be covering in Celebritology -- are supposed to end pre-Obama speaking. So hopefully the channel flipping won't be quite as intense.


Not sure if I should be amused or ashamed. I am choosing to read Celebritology before reading the headline stories....

You should feel triumphant!

Dylan Thomas Poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" read by Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School"

This is why you people are geniuses.

The (otherwise fairly lame) movie with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette: In Her Shoes. Poem was e.e. cummings. Lovely. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179622

This list is writing itself.

Definitely keeping this on the stove as future Friday list option. Tomorrow will be this: rank the top 10 NBC must-see-TV comedies. Oh, it's going to be exciting. Like, Chanandler Bong-level exciting.

Well, it wasn't a movie, but Charlie's recitation of Wisdom 3:1-4 in the amazing "Two Cathedrals" episode of The West Wing was incredible. I used that same passage when someone I love more than anything in the world passed away.

I remember that episode. How moving that you used the same poem.

You know, there's a musical version of the original film coming to Broadway. I heard some of it--screeching, dumbed down, unfunny. Not sure if the author of the original stories, Jean Shepherd, would be rolling in his grave (he's passed on) or laughing all the way to the bank. I don't think he'd be pleased creatively, though.

Yes, I knew about the Broadway version. I was hoping it would be slightly less horrible since it's at least using the same source material, as opposed to writing a new story a few years in the future that still involves a leg lamp and Randy's inability to dress himself in snow gear.

I assume Shepherd would not be please. I have a soft spot for his work; I did a forensics piece in high school based on a chapter of one of his books.

were MUCH better back in the day. They actually nominated someone there. it wasn't all made for tv audiences. it was, it seems, a lot more fun. Seriously - they don't even have the state roll call on prime time anymore. That is THE MOST FUN part...and they don't even think it's important. it is so beautiful, and harking back to the 'old timey' stuff...but they don't even care anymore. *sigh*. Okay kids! get off my lawn!

Oh, I know what you mean about the procedural stuff. I remember watching that as a kid. It's the political convention equivalent of the parade of nations during the Olympic opening ceremony.

It is a much more broadcast-tailored event, or at least tailored to what the networks think we want to see on a broadcast.

Sigh. I know I shouldn't care, and I know this isn't the OP blog, but I can't help it. I watched the latest train wreck of the Kartrashian unreality show last night, and was so annoyed with that terrible Momager, Kris Jenner. Her two youngest (one of whom really seems like she might have an eating disorder) are flunking out of school because Momager Dearest has them working all the time (no doubt so she can get her 10%). The girls complain about failing, and not understanding anything in the classroom, and there is no discussion whatsoever on maybe,you know, cutting back on their "work" and "social engagements" (not to mention the devices they are addicted to and spend all their time texting on, rather than studying). Not that the Kartrashians are any bastion of personal responsibility, but isn't making children under a certain age work all the time, child abuse? And aren't there laws in California preventing children under a certain age from working more than a specific number of hours per week? Ep?

I understand where you're coming from. At the same time, I think it's probably not worth investing too much time in questioning the Kardashians' parenting choices, although your question about the child labor laws is an interesting one. (EPJD, over to you, babe, if you care to weigh in on that.)

I personally think that the reason that show attracts viewers is because they stage situations to make the Kardashians look like the most thoughtless people ever, which thereby angers people who watch "KUWTK" so much that they have to keep watching to fuel their anger.

I don't know if they're actually thoughtless for real or not, but I feel certain that they recognize that appearing to be vapid is the surest means to their success.

Read your minute by minute account of seeing the Oogieflooofies, or whatever the heck they're called. I can't decide whether it's idiocy or surrealistic genius. And the actual actors who put their names on the credits! Chazz Palmenteri! I mean, I know he has to underwrite his terrific restaurant in Baltimore, but this is the guy who did Bullets Over Broadway, and now he's supposed to care about getting balloons to a pillow for its birthday?

To be fair Palminteri, isn't all that concerned about Schluufy's birthday. He's much more focused on making quality pickle milkshakes and singing songs with the word "moo" in them.

I am not sure if this argument works in his favor.

Happy to take one for the team, although I do hope the Post reimburses the cost of my movie ticket.

Sez the woman who gave us the unmediated-by-LSD review of The Oogieloves.

I'm not criticizing, yo.

You're absolutely right. I am now The Oogieloves person, a change to my previous status as the National Lampoon's Gold Diggers person. That might be the worst movie I have ever seen. The publicist actually apologized to me on my way out.

The Democratic National Convention is reaching out to Ooglieloves. Butterflies whenever Obama is mentioned. Turtles whenever Romney is mentioned.

Oh, that's a brilliant idea. Also, we all have to shout "Goofy Vice-President Biden! Pick up your pants!" every 10 minutes. (Someone's going to make a Bill Clinton joke in 3, 2, 1...)

By the way, here's the Oogieloves review, for those who missed it. All of these comments make a lot more sense in context.

Okay, lawyerly type question. Don't you think Vanity Fair fact checked that article to a fare thee well rather than just "regurgitating old news." I also find it telling no one is threatening to sue. But maybe for the same reason Tom quietly settled. No one wants a close examination of L. Ron's little religion.

I would think they did fact check the story, absolutely. And I also find it interesting that Cruise's lawyer has said there are no plans to sue.

If the content of the story were completely false, it seems like they'd have a good case for a defamation suit, right?

You know what irks me? When people say "back in the day" xyz was better: movies, conventions, tv shows, celebrity gazing, you name it. You know? Back in the day there was no A/C, nespresso, DVR, iphones, celebritology live chat, reality tv... Back in the day sucked.

I hear you, I do. But in defense of back in the day, back in the day was kind of awesome.

Back in the day MTV was new and fantastic.

Back in the day "Lost" had never debuted, so we still had that to look forward to.

Back in the day, my Coleco Vision still worked.

Back in the day, I could have gone to a matinee of Oogieloves and not paid $9 for it.

Back in the day, there was still a Farrell's in the Washington area where I could get a clown sundae if I so desired.

I LOVE back in the day. Though I would miss my iphone and this chat if it were still back in the day, so, you know, point taken.

Thank you, Jen. Reading what you wrote about watching the Kartrashians to fuel my anger has cured me of any desire to watch that show, ever again. I am the poster who wrote in last week wondering why I watch that stuff, and now I am appalled at myself. Thank you for giving me a very effective wake-up call! Eeek!

I'm not trying to make you feel bad for watching it. As stress relievers go, watching the Kardashians is far better than a lot of things people do to forget their daily troubles.

However, if I've helped you to seek out other viewing options of your own accord, then I am humbled and pleased. Now please remember to watch "Parenthood" next week on NBC. I love that show and I need to find other people who will discuss what's happening on it with me. Thank you.

As someone who was once forced to view a double feature of Schindler's List and Cabin Boy, I am extremely grateful for your hilarious depiction of this soon-to-be-a-classic. I wonder at what point in the future the now four-year-old turns to his dad and says, "YOU, all right! I learned Ooglieloves from YOU!"

Wait, you watched a double feature of Schindler's List and Cabin Boy? How did this happen and why? You weren't at Guantanamo Bay at the time, were you?

But how do you prove a negative? If Team Cruise-Hubbard sues, then VF and/or the alleged bridal contestant produce testimony from her, possible witnesses, etc. BUT, I can't believe they'd have any sort of concrete proof on-hand. So, it almost makes Cruise and scientology look worse, all while providing a free platform for those making the allegations to recite more of their case. I'm not at all a Scientology fan, but I can't see how this would work out well for them if they sue.

Well, one way -- and this would not happen for a variety of reasons -- would be if Katie Holmes said, you know, I never went through any of this when I was dating Tom. Which doesn't disprove the story about the other actress, but bolsters the notion that these "auditions" were not an approach that Cruise took across-the-board to finding a new mate.

But I see what you mean. It might be challenging for them to prove their case, and in the meantime, it would just generate more publicity around the allegations about Cruise's behavior and the church.

Still, if something genuinely did not happen, shouldn't that be provable? Obviously it gets costly and ugly but  it should still be possible to substantiate, or unsubstantiate.

And don't forget: Back in the day, my body was smaller; could run farther, longer; and could recover faster. :-(

Mine, too. What a strange coincidence!

Off the topic of celebritology, but ages ago I read an article in WaPo about the days before air conditioning. People went outside. They sat on their stoops and talked to their neighbors and drank iced tea. And that's not just a myth: that was my neighborhood growing up. There was no A/C, and in summer the adults sat outside on lawn chairs and talked, and the kids played. Now, don't get me wrong ... I love A/C and complain bitterly when it's hot and I'm somewhere that doesn't have it. But, there was also a benefit to not having it.

That's very nice and true, I am sure. But I'd also still rather have A/C.

Back in the day, some things were better, others were worse. Same now. I'm grateful for A/C and being able to do prodigious research on the Internet at home in my jammies (instead of going to a huge library, and still not necessarily being able to find what I was looking for). But I miss the more leisurely pace of my youth, political conventions that were more than just scripted pep-rallies, and above all I miss the privacy that now private citizens must fight to defend, since the default setting seems to be that everyone and everything's fair game.

Amen to pretty much all of this.

No, I made the mistake of saying to my husband, "pick any two movies you like." I am still haunted by the vision of David Letterman's cameo: "Anybody wanna buy a monkey?" Making prisoners watch Schindler's List and Cabin Boy would violate the Geneva Convention.

Your husband is clearly a multi-faceted man.

I'm sorry for your trauma. But this is also pretty hilarious.

Back in the day, I was forced to listen to old timers telling me how much better things were back in the day.

Yeah, those were really the good old days.

Yep. Defamation, libel, slander ... none of those are mentioned. hehe For the record, I actually have no problem with wee Tom vetting potential future wives (although my guess is, the "church" wants him married to squelch gay rumors and make him more bankable and marketable as their "face"). What I have a huge problem with is the horror of their vetting process (confessing all their secrets, auditing, every detail of their sex lives, ew)., the brainwashing aspect, the control they have over the woman, and the retribution if it doesn't work out. That is super creepy.

It is creepy, assuming it's true. I have no reason to think that VF and Maureen Orth didn't do their reporting. But, to the point Matt Lauer made when he interviewed Orth earlier this week, it's hard to know what to think about the story without knowing who her sources were. I completely respect Orth's right as a journalist to keep her sources a secret. But it does make it challenging to know what to make of all of it.

Like you said, I don't care what Tom Cruise believes or how he chooses to find a spouse, as long as no one else is getting hurt as a result. That's the part that is of greatest concern.

In your expert opinion (see how I flattered you into taking my question?), what do you think will be the effect of Eastwood's convention performance on attendance at his new movie ("Trouble With the Curve")? Since the reality is that roughly half of any audience is going to be of each party, it seems to me there might be a real risk.

I am wondering this myself.

I think it's hard right now to see him in ads for the film and not think of the RNC. Ads for the movie ran during last night's DNC coverage, for instance, and it was impossible for one's brain not to immediately go: Invisible Obama.

It's not necessarily a deterrent to seeing the movie, though.  What he did during his RNC speech has no bearing on the quality of that film.

Whatever happened to the Friday List you were preparing about cult TV shows that aren't as well discovered on Netflix, etc as they should be? I think you were preparing it about a month ago, but I never saw it. I wanted to know what I should be adding to my Neflix queue when the fall TV season starts to disappoint me (which will probably happen 2-3 weeks into the fall TV season).

I finally wrote it. And here it is! Not sure how many are on Netflix, though, unfortunately. Undeclared should be.



Sophie's Choice: "Ample Make this Bed" by Emily DIckinson. That movie is so painful so to end with such beauty...... Ample make this bed. Make this bed with awe; In it wait till judgment break Excellent and fair. Be its mattress straight, Be its pillow round; Let no sunrise' yellow noise Interrupt this ground.

Another good poem selection.

Reading your minute-by-minute of the Oogieloves, I was laughing until there were tears in my eyes. But then I got to the part about Carey Elwes being in it and I just started to cry.

It is a bit jarring, to say the least.

You have no idea the time and aggravation that I would have been spared if I anyone, let alone a powerful and rich organization, would have vetted my boyfriends. YOU HAVE NO IDEA! It's not such a bad idea, after all... they couldn't have picked any worse boyfriends than I did, and... heck, I could have blamed THEM!

I hadn't thought of it that way, but good point. I guess that's what online dating services allegedly do for us. But if the VF article is accurate, Scientology was much more thorough.

If her sources are insiders in the Scientology world, she is absolutely right to keep them a secret. Considering what the cult does to its "suppressive people". If they weren't kept secret, they would probably have to go into the witness protection program. Or sell copies of Dianetics on street corners and all that other stuff.

Absolutely. As I said, it's totally her right to keep them secret and I am sure there is good reason to.

I am just saying that without knowing every detail, it's hard to understand whether there is any merit to what Scientology's reps say about the sources. I'm just trying to remain as objective as possible here, that's all.

But i can't watch it anymore because it's past my bedtime. Do you know if it's in DVD? I watched a few episodes on demand but fell off the wagon when I became a parent myself. Same with Up all Night. It stopped being funny when my baby wasn't amusing me as much as their baby.

It is on DVD, and it's also on Netflix. So you can catch up that way.

It's still going to be on at 10 p.m. this season, so you may need to DVR.

I read this article (http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/film/hollywood-actresses-fed-up-with-fluffy-interview-questions) about actresses becoming frustrated at only getting superficial diet and beauty questions while their male co-stars get deep questions about character, and I'm curious on your thoughts, especially since you get to interview celebs yourself. Do you find yourself prepping different questions for men vs. women? Oh, and thanks for the amazing Oogieloves review - it was perfection.

Women definitely do get more questions like that than men. I generally am not writing stories about the diet/beauty angle. I am just as like to ask a question about someone's personal life if they are male or female.

If there is a distinction in my questions, I think sometimes I want to talk to women more about the struggles they have to deal with as a woman in Hollywood. Same thing goes for sources who are African-American or Latino or some other ethnicity. I don't generally ask white men if they feel like their projects aren't given green lights because the studio heads don't understand their sensibility.

Do you realize the headlines above your current conversation now include the phrases "Elizabeth Warren Beaver Attack". I presume there are two separate news items.

I do not realize this. But that is unfortunate.

Since I don't think we can possibly go out on a higher note than that, I am going to sign off now.

I'll be tweeting @celebritology during the VMAs tonight, and Maura Judkis and I will also be bloggong about them, too. Oh, it's going to be exciting. Or idiotic. Or both.

Anyway, do join us. And thanks, as always, for chatting.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

When she isn't blogging, at the movies or watching a television show, she's ... um ... probably at home watching a movie or a TV show.

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