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It's Miss Cusack, if you're nasty

2003-11-03 - 2:34 p.m.

It�s the end of the world as we know it, and I absolutely do NOT feel fine: John Cusack is rumored to be dating Britney Spears.

I�d hoped it was a cruel Halloween joke; that when I woke up the morning after hearing the news, it would wear off and disappear, like so much fake Dracula blood.

But I heard correctly. It doesn�t seem to be a joke. Oh, the horror.

This news is a stinging slap in the face to every smart, self-respecting woman I know�because, of course, all self-respecting and smart women are in love with John Cusack.

Oh dear God, it hurts.

And it�s such a horrific symbolic statement, so against what we self-respecting and smart women hope for in the world: that men like John Cusack--or at least men like what we think John Cusack is like, based (unfairly) upon the assumption that he�s like his funny, smart, sweet characters�do not go for women like Britney Spears.

Oh, the horror! The age difference! The level-of-talent difference! The-level-of-integrity-and-quality-of-output difference! The fan base difference! And really, what�s next? Britney and David Sedaris? Britney and Dave Eggers? Britney and Sarah Vowell? Oh Johnny, Johnny, say it isn�t so!

I�ll never be able to hear �In Your Eyes� the same way again.




Speaking of Miss Spears, how many girls did you see dressed up as Britney this weekend? Or how many girls told you they were dressed as a �naughty school girl?� And yet, here�s the bigger question: how does The Hottie Halloween Costume of the Year idea catch on so effectively?

Hasn�t it been something like five or six years since Britney first came on the scene in that video with the braids and the pleated skirt? Or maybe even longer? So why was it that this year, so many young ladies decided to go with that look?

A year or so ago, the Hottie Halloween Costume of the Year was the �Cat Lady,� which meant that many women wore extra-tight pleather body suits that zipped down to reveal lots of cleavage. And where did that idea come from? How did so many women simultaneously make that decision? I�d have understood if the Batman movie with Michelle Pfeiffer�s Catwoman character had just come out, but that was like years before.

Maybe it was only popular in my small Midwestern town. But I saw somewhere between 15 and 20 girls on Friday night dressed in pigtails, a tied-under-the-boobs white blouse, a short school-girl skirt, and stockings of all stripes in the slutty variety.

There must be a sorority-girl phone tree, like the one in �Legally Blonde II,� (yes, I�ve seen it, don�t ask), where the Head Sister says, �Ok, gals, this year it�s late 90s-era Britney! Now go!� and out come the see-through knee socks across the nation.

On Halloween night, it quickly became apparent that for people of college age and up, Halloween night is not a reason to get dressed up in a goofy costume, but an excuse to take the regular level of risqu� Friday-night-booty-clothing up about six notches on the Slutty Scale. The bar was like a sea of super-slutty Mary Catherine Gallaghers.

I was much more approving of the girl I saw dressed as Elvis. At least that was actually scary.


Here�s a story (if you scroll down) about Amy Sedaris baking 400 cupcakes for a night out with a bunch of news anchors. Doesn�t that so sound like something only Amy would do? I wish they�d film it and sell it as a video so I could watch. And in more Amy-related news, according to this web site, she�s also got a role in the upcoming movie �Elf.� Will Ferrell and Amy S. in the same movie? Glee!


MOVIE MINUTE: �The Secret Lives of Dentists�

Good but not great.

Campell Scott and the great and under-appreciated Hope Davis play a married couple �both dentists�in this film based on the book �The Age of Grief� by Jane Smiley, which is based on the breakup of Smiley�s marriage to the father of her three children.

The movie is definitely a good renter, but overall artistically it felt confused about what it wanted to be: a comedy or a drama. The blend between the two is as not smooth as you want it to be. The acting performances are solid and convincing, but the movie relies on a much-used and pretty tired tactic of using a real-live actor as the manifestation of a character�s consciousness (Denis Leary plays the proverbial Devil on Campbell Scott�s shoulder). These scenes with Leary lend most of the comedy that conflicts uncomfortably with the inherent sadness in the plot line: that the marriage, and at least one of the individuals in it, are troubled, and that it will very likely break up.

The director (Alan Rudolph) shows a great eye for detail, though, in character development (Hope Davis�s characters� affection�or perhaps affectation�for opera, and the passive-aggressive tantrum Scott�s character throws at the dinner table when he suspects his wife is cheating on him). Note the way the house is decorated: real-looking learning charts and children�s drawings practically wallpaper the cozy house. Also note the tremendously realistic and un-Hollywoody performances given by the three children. Overall, without having read the book, the film gave me the feeling that something from the writing had not carried over well in to the film. 2 � -3 stars out of 4.


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