The Reliable Source Live

Dec 11, 2013

Washington Post columnists Roxanne Roberts was online Wednesday, December 4, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Welcome, all. Lots to talk about: The Kennedy Center Honors and Sonia Sotomayor’s dress. Yes, Ryan Zimmerman and his wife had their baby: Mackenzie Zimmerman was born last month. Judy Smith (the inspiration for Olivia Pope) on life during “Scandal.” Did Sunny Obama really knock over that 2-year-old at the White House? No, she didn't. (Comb these photos carefully.) Susan Boyle says she’s “relieved” that she’s  been diagnosed with Asberger’s syndrome, and Prince Harry’s charity race to the South Pole isn’t much of a race anymore.

Dive in!

First of all, I hope Amy & baby Eliza continue to thrive. Perhaps you might post a picture of the happy family. Second, Ryan and Heather Zimmerman (who has gone back to her natural dark hair) have a little girl named Mackenzie born in November. What have you learned about other Nats' babies?

Not much. For all the attention on their weddings, the Nats are pretty private -- and the team doesn't release info about their personal lives, so that makes it a bit harder when it comes to their newborns.

And yes, Amy and Eliza are doing great.


I thought the live version of the Sound of Music was horrible. It just didn't work with Carrie Underwood.

She can sing but, as they say in the South, 'The girl can't act a lick, bless her soul." I understand they needed a name and it wasn't a trainwreck, but nothing anyone but diehard SOM fans would watch again.

I was hoping it would be Rob Ford.

This is Time we're talking about. Rob Ford isn't serious enough to be POTY.

Kate Winslets husbands last name is Rocknroll? That can't be his real name can it?

Hello - joining the chat again this week! And oh, the name is real. Sort of. He changed it from Abel Smith, and really, who could blame him? Who wouldn't want to go from "Smith" to "Rocknroll"?

Rob Ford could fill that role for MAD magazine.

Rob Ford IS Mad magazine.

I thought it was just OK. Neither the color nor the cut did much for her. I think that a better choice would have a black lacy pantsuit or a much deeper or richer blue/purple dress much like that of Martina Arroyo. Also, am I the last woman alive who thinks that sleeveless dresses should not be worn in winter? I love lacy long sleeves and love the chance to wear such dresses in cold weather.

She looked lovely in person. I thought the dress was black until I saw it up close, and I liked that she wore something really feminine and pretty. Sleeveless dresses are worn in winter all the time -- but you need a wrap to stay warm. (Then again, you always need a wrap to stay warm in freezing AC during the summer.) Long sleeves can be very elegant, but the dress needs to be well-tailored to pull that off. 

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. That is all.

Any votes for the uncensored version of "Bab Santa?" But I gotta go all chick-flick on you and nominate "Love, Actually."

I wish you'd posted a better picture of Sonia Sotomayor's dress. While the shoulders look lovely, since the article pointedly mentioned it, I'd liked to have seen the whole thing.

I'm not sure we have one, but if so will add to the blog post.

I agree that Carrie Underwood's acting wasn't even close to her singing. But what was most notable to me about the entire SOM experience was the hateful glee with which she was savaged on Twitter and the class with which Carrie responded.

Oh yeah, you could practically hear all of the Twitter critics sharpening their knives before the thing even started. But she (and NBC) definitely got the last laugh with 18 million viewers.

Scrooged! Carol Kane rocks as Christmas Past! And Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim! Of the serious Christmas Carols, I like the George C. Scott version, especially David Warner as Bob Cratchit. Also love the Muppet Christmas Carol with Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit.

Favorite holiday movies kind of depend on your mood that year, don't they?

My favorite is still, "Its a Wonderful Life"

Another vote. Though I agree with Roxanne - there's just something about the delightful "Love, Actually." I just had my annual December viewing and that naturally led to a debate with my friend over which storyline is best. (She voted for Hugh Grant; I like Colin Firth.)

I'm 100% for Bad Santa. LOVE that move. But, i also enjoy It's a Wonderful Life & Elf.


Because the ratings don't care if you're only hate-watching.

That's true, but then it wasn't bad ENOUGH to be truly satisfying.

Has to be A Christmas Story. Look forward to seeing Ralphie try and get his BB gun every year.

Do you know I have NEVER watched that movie? Even though I know about the BB gun and leg lamp.

Blah blah... Die Hard.. blah blah... set during the holidays... blah blah blah

There's a Die Hard Xmas movie? How did I not know this?

A couple of days ago the beautiful Eleanor Parker, who played the Countess in The Sound of Music, died at 91. A number of people posted comments that were very uncomplimentary to the live SoM instead of commenting on Ms. Parker. I found that rude. For what it's worth, she was a lovely and talented actress, and my favorite Eleanor Parker movie was Scaramouche, in which she was the "bad girl" to Janet Leigh's "good girl." Janet got Stewart Granger, but Eleanor ended up with Napoleon Bonaparte!


I like Elf and the Alec Guiness version of Scrooge!

And more...

"When Harry Met Sally"

Funny, I never think of that as a holiday movie--although doesn't it end on New Year's Eve?

I read that typo as "Babs Santa" and was hoping for a Streisand movie where, like in the Tim Allen one, she slowly morphs into a bearded, bowlful-of-jelly St. Nick.

Can someone make this happen??

Anglophile's dream movie! Best Thanksgiving Movie is Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

And the runners up for Thanksgiving movies?

I hate their tv movie Christmas specials, but the Muppet Christmas Carol is perfect! It is the right balance of sappy and funny and the songs are catchy without being annoying. It is the best.

I just realized that I'm usually too busy before Christmas to watch most of the Christmas specials.

Filmed version of Puccini's opera "La Boheme," where lovers Mimi and Rudolfo meet on a Xmas Eve in Act I, then gather for the festivities at the Cafe Momus in Montmartre in Act II! (Of course, Acts III and IV, which are set in the first few months of the following year get kind of grim).

Don't think I've ever heard this pick before - congrats on the most unique choice so far!

The original Die Hard is set during a Christmas Party. Love Actually and A White Christmas. I love the train scene.

I so didn't know that.

Not really a holiday movie, but a movie set during the holiday . . . "While You Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. Such a sweet movie.

Ohh I forgot this was kind of a Christmas movie - I might change my choice to this one. Whatever happened to Bill Pullman?

While a Christmas Story is my favorite, an underappreciated gem is Barbara Stanwyck's "A Christmas in Connecticut"

Are we all making a list? And checking it twice?

The best Christmas Carol is the one with Patrick Stewart. The blatant anti-American sentiments in Love Actually sour the movie for me.

Stewart is pretty amazing in anything he does.

If we can add books to the discussion, I love Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs--a grumpy Santa who hates winter and enjoys a nip of liquor and a cigar every now and then.

This will open the floodgates, but what the hell? Although Brigg's Santa sounds like "Bad Santa." (See? Typed it right this time.)

Well, not films, but I dearly love every single Thanksgiving episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond," especially the ones featuring turkey duels between Maria and Debra. The one where a stressed out Debra drops the turkey on the floor several times and then hurls it into the oven without a pan just kills me every time I see it. I know JUST how she feels.

Thanksgiving can do that to a person.

Although not strictly a Christmas movie, Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire is great. Bing Crosby sings White Christmas.

I have seen that! And I believe it's the movie "White Christmas" is based on.

Most recently, he was the President on "1600 Penn." It had its moments, but I think it got canceled.

Oh that's right - forgot he was on that one, it did get canceled after 13 episodes.

Didn't he become US President, and then save the world from alien destruction by using his fighter-pilot skills?

Now THAT sounds vaguely familiar..glad he's doing well.

Appallingly bad, and thus worth watching, particularly if you have the wherewithal for a drinking game: "Single Santa Seeks Mrs Claus". Also a candidate for Worst Movie Ever, in any genre! Steve Guttenberg's usual apologetic manner is particularly appropriate here.

Missed that. Although I'm now thinking an ugly sweater party with a bad Christmas movie playing in the background sounds like a really good time. 

I didn't see TSOM, but I didn't find Underwood's response to critics at all classy -- saying she'll pray for them as though they're missing Jesus in their lives is actually pretty obnoxious, IMO. She seems like a nice enough person, but maybe just ignore the critics and laugh your way to the bank next time, Carrie.

Well, in her defense, I think the remarks were pointed at the real haters and not just critics of her performance. But still....

Liam Neeson and his stepson! I am always overjoyed when he jumps into his arms at the end of the movie! Least favorite? Laura Linney. C'mon, did she really have to answer her phone? I do feel a *tiny* bit sad for her though when her brother is the person she sadly calls after saying a final goodnight to Carl.

Hearing that ringtone is the worst! Also the stepson finally calling Liam Neeson "dad" gets me every time.

Love, Actually has blatant anti-American sentiments? Oh come ON. A small plot point is a lecherous U.S. president and a prime minister tut-tutting the American tendency to dictate policy at a press conference. Plus, it's, you know, fiction, but hey, fair points. For all the American movies that skewer the Brits and regular "that's why we had the Revolution" jokes (I'm American and even *I'M* sick of those), can't they have one scene where they take on the big dog? It makes me sad that Washington politics could sour someone's love for Love, Actually.

Especially when those Wisconsin girls were so welcoming.

Santaland Diaries, David Sedaris's accounts of his two seasons as a Macy's Christmas elf.

Sounds like a must-read.

I own three Nutcracker DVDs--the Royal Ballet with Anthony Dowell, American Ballet Theatre with Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland, and the New York City narrated by Kevin Kline and starring Macauley Culkin. I recommend the NYC version because it's much more colorful than the Royal Ballet's and has real children. They're all good, of course, but I like NYCB the best.

You just out-classed me.

Another vote for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - that's a modern classic!

There you go!

Miracle on 34th Street (the original with Natalie Wood)

That is a real classic.

Not movies, but I love the old stop-motion Frosty and Rudolph TV specials. The technology (if you can call it that) is SO dated I can't believe they still air them, but I'm glad they do. Nothing propels me back to childhood faster than those shows.

Definitely a throwback!

Also that just reminded me of one of my favorite lines from "Friends" where Monica says something like "You didn't buy presents? But Christmas Eve is tomorrow, what are you going to do?!" and Chandler replies "Don't you have to be Claymation to say things like that?"

I just watched "Holiday Inn" on DVD and it had a scene with Bing Crosby in blackface performing a minstrel act (for Abraham Lincoln's birthday, no less). I don't remember that from the TV version I watched years ago. Was it excised from TV showings? It was a bit of a shock; different times for sure.

Good point -- I've only seen it on TV and I THINK the scene was there. Of course, were talking about a film made in 1942.

Just another cheesy musical, so I can't muster any outrage about whether or not Carrie Underwood was out-acted by the furniture. I just remember watching the original film as a child and wondering, as they were escaping, when they would be able to stop and go to the bathroom. Of all the silliness in the film, I remember that striking me (a kid) as too unrealistic to accept.

Somehow, that cracks me up.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!!!

Oh, that sad little tree!

The original in black and white with Edmund Gwynn. And litte Natalie Wood.

Who has now time-traveled into the new Macy's commercials. Kind of jarring.

needs a shout out, very good movie with Cary Grant as an angel sent to show a Reverend the error of his ways, but inadvertently falls for his wife.

Ah, Cary.

Christmas 1183, "The Lion in Winter", with so much family togetherness and tender moments.


I'm surprised that nobody has brought up the selfie that Obama took with David Cameron and the Danish official whose name escapes me. You have to wonder what they were thinking at the time.

I suppose there was a different vibe in a stadium than in a church. But still, probably not the best move on their parts.

Think they made a good choice this year, Pope Francis is stirring things up in a good way.

So it would seem. Not sure all the church officials would agree with you, but it's a very interesting time to be in Rome.

Chatters: One more chat before Reliable Source takes a holiday break. Sent your tips and ideas to, and I hope you can join me next week. Cheers, and stay warm.


Recent Chats
  • Next: