Friday, January 3, 2014

Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, and Other New Year's Mystery Romances

In today's gossip roundup: three affairs blossomed into public spectacles over the holiday, Kim Kardashian photographed her most cherished possession being held by her child, and Robin Thicke freaked out about a hotel room.

All love is a mystery! Who knows what fuels it, guides it, creates it and tears it apart? But no love is more mysterious than that of the celebrity mystery romance. And wouldn't you know it, here at the very start of 2014 C.E., we have three head-scratching celebrity affairs to discuss. The first involves two known quantities: Sean Penn and Charlize Theron. The Oscar-winning actors recently spent some time in Hawaii together, hanging out at Penn's Big Island beach house, Sean surfing and Charlize strolling in the sand in her bikini. They arrived back in smoggy old Los Angeles on the same flight yesterday, but made a point of exiting the airport separately. Rumors have been swirling about the pair for a little while now, and this latest information, including the strategic separate exits, would seem to confirm their relationship. Though it might not! Maybe they're just friends and decided to spend New Year's Eve together but kinda hung out for too long-maybe they'd never traveled together and realized that they get on each other's nerves. So by the time they got back home, they just wanted to get away from each other, take a little break and cool off. Or maybe Charlize has a tradition that if she lands in Terminal 1 she has to get a meal at CPK ASAP, and Sean was like "Uhh, I think I'm just gonna go home" and she said "Suit yourself, but I'm getting a BBQ chicken pizza with honey-wheat dough and there's nothing you can do to stop me." That could be the case! We just don't know, is the thing, and that is why this romance technically remains a mystery. Though it does seem highly likely that they are an item-when's the last time you and a potential mate, depending on your gender preference, spent New Year's Eve alone together on a Hawaiian beach?-we just don't know for certain. There are too many variables in play to draw a concrete conclusion. [Daily Mail]

Even more mysterious are the unknown beaux seen cavorting with Bethenny Frankel and Demi Moore this past holiday week. They were not all together, it was not some mystery double date. No, Frankel, who made her millions in the potable chemicals racket, was in Miami Beach with an unknown slab of meat, while Moore, still flush with The Juror money, splashed around in Mexico with a tattooed younger man. Frankel and her unidentified fella were seen sharing a New Year's kiss at midnight and lounging on the beach the next day, Frankel in a big floppy hat, her gentleman friend in a daring white bathing suit. Meanwhile, Demi laughed and clung to her date's back like a baby monkey as they braved the waves together. The man, who appears to be in his 20s, has a great big Rihanna-bird tattooed on his chest. Well, no, I guess Rihanna's is actually the goddess Isis and is under her nipples, while this guy's is some sort of winged, Edward Gorey-ish creation that sits firmly above his nipples. (Nipples! Gross word.) But they are both big chest tattoos featuring large creatures with wings, so you can see why I would draw the comparison, I hope. Anyway, the point is we don't know who Bethenny and Demi are dating, if these are serious relationships or everyone's just playing a brief game of beach blanket bingo, but they certainly do look happy in the photos. And I should hope so! No sense in frolicking on warm tropical beaches on New Year's if you're gonna look miserable doing it. Enjoy the salty spray, young lovers. The scuttle and skitter of hermit crabs, the mournful calls of gulls, the sweet song of steel drums and daiquiri blenders, the laughter of children as they play in the surf. A new year has dawned, and so, maybe, has new love. Live it up! Enjoy it! For sooner than we all want, 2015 will be knocking at the door, making old everything that was once so new, and wonderful, and mysterious. [Daily Mail; ]

Elsewhere, Kim Kardashian, ascendant Kween of Kalifornia, posted a charming Instagram photo on New Year's Eve. The image is of a small child's hand clutching an enormous diamond ring. Is it meant to represent our gilded, troubled modern age, simple innocence clashing with ostentatious materialism? Is it somehow a commentary on the diamond industry, pointing out the inflated value of the gems by turning such a large specimen into nothing more than a child's plaything? No, silly, it's a reference to Kim Kardashian's big year! Remember she had a baby, North West, and got engaged to the baby's father, Kanye West? So that's North West, clutching the anna griffin christmas cards hangar-sized ring Kanye gave to Kim when he proposed in a baseball stadium. "It was an amazing year!!!" Kim's caption reads, and certainly she is not wrong about that. Some may balk the idea of posing a child, or a child's arm at least, with such a gaudy and borderline irresponsible piece of jewelry, but what can we do about it? This is what Kim Kardashian wants, and judging by most of the comments, it is what her fans want too. Well, actually, judging by the comments, most of her fans want to spam people with requests for follows. But many others are supportive, with only a few naysayers. One such commenter wrote the following: "I don't care what the fuck you dick riders say she trying so hard to be like @beyonce." Which, sure, that person is probably not wrong vis à vis the Beyoncé comparison (a rhyming one no less!). There is definitely a whiff of Beyoncé-related aspirationalism in pretty much everything Kim has done of late. But I do take issue with the "dick riders" part. For one, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe there is explicit video evidence that Ms. Kardashian is not possessed of that particular appendage, so I'm not really sure what these fans are supposed to be riding. And two, there haven't been true dick riders in centuries. Sure they used to maraud across Eurasia, pillaging villages and leaving nothing but fire and suffering in their wake, but that was back in an older time. And it is insulting to all those people whose lives the dick riders, flopping into town on their enormous phalluses, irrevocably destroyed to so casually invoke them in a comment on Kim Kardashian's Instagram page. Oh well. Ultimately the point is that, yes, Kim Kardashian posed her baby for this photo and posted it to the Internet to illustrate her most glorious year. And while we may take issue with the medium, we cannot argue with the message. A most amazing year indeed. [People]

Robin Thicke, who has been trolling Kirk Cameron for years now with his popular (and sexually suggestive) music ("I'm his REAL son, sucker!!" has been the hidden message), ended his 2013 with a bang. Page Six is suggesting, or flat-out stating, that Thicke had something of a hotel room freakout in Miami on Monday night. He was in town to perform at the SLS Hotel South Beach on New Year's Eve, but when he checked in he was vocally unhappy about the size of his hotel room. "It's too big!" he cried. "Too many rooms! And what's all this fruit and champagne doing here, I didn't order this! I don't need this! There are people homeless and starving, right here in this country!" Well, actually, no, it was quite the opposite. In fact he thought the room was too small, and threatened to pull of the performance if he wasn't upgraded. So his travel agent called around to various other Miami hotels and, after explaining that yes travel agents do still exist, requested a room for his client. What a disaster! Though, the SLS hotel says that no such thing happened, telling Page Six, "Robin has been a great guest." That doesn't mean much, though. Of course they're going to say that. It would be bad business to say "Yes, this celebrity freaked out," because that might scare off other high-profile guests who'd like to have their own hotel freakouts. No fancy hotel wants to be known as the place where celebrities can't freak out in relative peace. Because celebrities, or many celebrities at least, like nothing more than freaking the heck out at hotels. It's why lots of people want to become famous to begin with! So it's only good politics to say "No, no, he was an excellent guest," because it telegraphs to other stars that they too can freak out at the SLS Hotel South Beach with impunity. It's important messaging in the hotel business. It's like that one Red Roof Inn off the highway saying "Oh goodness no, no one's ever had a three-day drug binge followed by a standoff before being brought down in a hail of police gunfire at our establishment." If you want more of that business, you don't air others clients' dirty laundry. So I think this was all handled rather well, don't you? [ Page Six]

Kaley Cuoco is married! The Big Bang Theory actress/luckiest girl in all of Hollywood wed her boyfriend of six months in a ceremony on New Year's Eve, and posted a couple pics of the event yesterday with effusive captions like, "Greatest night of my entire life :) @ryansweething." @ryansweeting is her new husband, naturally. And so Cuoco, known by many in the industry as one of America's most dynamic and exciting actresses, is officially off the market. It's been a whirlwind romantic year for Cuoco, who of course had this quick courtship with @ryansweeting, but also was seen back in June with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill, appearing in perhaps one of the finest celebrity photos of the year. "Kaley Cuoco is having fun!" was the message in that photo, her laughing in that big hat while she clutches to her hunk prize. But alas that fun was not meant to be, and so Cuoco moved on, quickly finding @ryansweeting and marrying him just before her busy year came to a close. And Kaley Cuoco is still having fun, if the whimsical Instagram snap of @ryansweeting swaddled in her big poofy pink dress is any indication. Sure he may be shrugging as if to say "What is happening? How did I get here?" But Kaley, who is very much alive despite some rumors to the contrary, is laughing and laughing and laughing, having a grand old time as she rides this wild bucking bronco called life. Good for her. And if Mr. Cavill needs a shoulder to cry on, or whatever, I hope he knows he's got one. []

Oh dear. Another Kennedy scandal. Well, OK, by Kennedy standards, this is actually pretty tame, but it's still something. What happened was this: Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, sent a mass holiday greeting email-a photo of her and her daughters with a little note-out to the distribution list of the Robert F. Kennedy Center, and because of some kind of technical problem, whenever someone responded, the responses went to everyone on the list instead of just Kerry. Actors Dennis Haysbert and Matthew Modine were among early responders, wishing Kennedy and her family Merry Christmas and thanking her for the photo. But pretty quickly people became frustrated with the flood of responses, to the point that Steven Rattner, the billionaire/economic policy guru, wrote, "I think something more along the lines of an apology would be in order. Please be sure I never get an e-mail from this organization again." Yikes! That is a scary email to get from a hugely influential billionaire in response to your holiday card. Kennedy at least had a few heavy-hitters defending her, with political operator/Kennedy friend Alan Fleischman saying "Kerry did nothing wrong" and actress Catherine Keener joking, "Be more upset with the NSA than RFK." Kennedy then issued her own apology, saying she was resolved in the New Year to "not bother all my friends during the holidays." By which point I'd hope that people like Rattner were a little embarrassed to have reacted so strongly. I'm sure this latest Kennedy kerfuffle will blow over, and by this time next year, no one will remember it. And, again, on the scale of Kennedy calamities, this rates pretty low. When reached for comment on the matter, the ghost of Joe Kennedy, Sr. said "The hell are you talking about?" And I think he's got a point. [Daily Mail]

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