"Sales of President Obama masks at Party City in Augusta, Me. are down...way down. The public has spoken; no one fantasizes about being a politician anymore. The most popular costme at that Party City? The minions from 'Despicable Me.'...the costumes we choose say something about who we are, or wish to be," writes English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan.
Come to think of it, "Despicable Me" is still one of the best movies in recent years.
• There is so little to see about the star Robert Redford in his current tight-lipped portrayal of a man dying at sea in the movie "All Is Lost."
So we can focus on the ring the character Redford is wearing on his left hand - silver with a turquoise inset. Well, you can order this "Eye of the Storm Ring" for $210 from the Sundance catalogue.
Mr. Redford isn't a star and a businessman for nothing. Log onto http://www.sundancecataloge.com
• "Do you have any drugs? Asks the sleazy Las Vegas lady.
"Does Lipitor count?" responds Kevin Klein.
Okay, right off the bat, let me admit the humor in "Last Vegas," a movie about four men of a certain age who decide to party in Sin City, it doesn't get a lot better than that. But, and I cannot stress this vigorously enough, the talents and commitment of Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline raise their material to, well -- not quite genius, but maybe something better. My face hurt from smiling after this movie ended! And the entire packed house of the Zeigfeld, where the premiere was held, all pretty much said the same thing! I have rarely heard such continual laughter and spontaneous applause throughout any film. And it received a tremendous ovation. Nobody wanted to think about what the hell is wrong with the world as they filed out. They Just knew they'd been entertained and boy, they needed it now.
"Last Vegas," directed by Jon Turteltaub, is kind of a geriatric "The Hangover," or a male "Golden Girls." And it misses no Viagra or prostate reference. But it so very well-intentioned, the acting of the four principals so meshed and flowing, that the hoariest old reference to the old can be forgiven--indeed welcomed. Again, I can't stress the positive audience reaction. Critics will probably kill it. Do. Not. Pay. Attention.
Rounding out the cast is the charming and always welcome Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer who appears to be attracted to two of the men. I won't tell which two or whom she chooses. Ms. Steenburgen looks great. Maybe too great. By whatever means, she maintains a quite youthful visage. She doesn't look a second over 35, in broad daylight. This still seems a bit youthful for the men she appears to be juggling. Ah, well, minor quibble. It was good to see her onscreen again, period. (Jerry Ferrara is also quite amusing as a hotel employee who is convinced the four men are mobsters!)
• The true party after was at the 21 Club.
It was civilized and not overly crowded, though upon entering, most everybody was ushered up stairs, where nary a star appeared. (Naturally Roger Friedman managed to avoid the upstairs Siberia!) I did catch a quick glimpse of Michael Douglas, on his way out looking good and much less "orange" than onscreen. (His character was that kind of guy--Mr. Spray Tan.)
Along with learning that most of the young men serving teeny bites of food were actors--the titles of six smalls plays in New York were swimming in my head--I also had a charming conversation with musician/actor Romany Malco who plays the hotel's manager.
Mr. Malco has been around for a while; he had no problem admitting he was over 35. When I expressed some surprise -- "you barely look 25!" He said, "Let me tell you, when I look at pictures taken of myself a couple of years ago, I think I look like another person." So what's his secret? "Sugar. I cut it totally out of my diet. I never imagined it would have such an effect! I was convinced it would be healthier. Now, even if I wanted to go back, vanity wouldn't allow. I am an actor after all."
Let me say this again. "Last Vegas" will collect no Oscars. Critiques will probably be derisive. I say go and let your face hurt from all that smiling.