"Studio estimates Paramount's Biblical film Noah opened with a box office of $44 million!"
So read yesterday's headlines.
One wonders why this rainy semi-Biblical epic, starring Russell Crowe, wasn't 'saved' for release nearer the Academy Awards at year's end?
But I guess time and the box office wait for no one, and $44 million is a good start on a weekend when half the earth is drenched in rain and the other half parched and starving, plus snow, ice storms, earthquakes, mountain slides, and impending doom from the Nobel Prize winners who keep telling us that global warming is real.
• And now for something not too serious, I want to recommend you find a way to see Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, one of the richest, most startlingly good-looking and funny movies about not-so-funny European history ever.
This movie is priceless, almost indescribable in its artfulness. And my pal F. Murray Abraham is simply wonderful in it -- everybody is, including Ralph Fiennes...Bill Murray...Adrien Brody...Willem Dafoe... Jeff Goldblum... Harvey Keitel... Jude Law... etc... and Tilda Swinton allowing herself once again to be made to look horrible.
I'm a little late myself in seeing this masterpiece, but if you want to have some fun, try to see it,
while the rest of the world's headlines make you flinch.
•The Maria Droste Counseling Services, under my good friend Elizabeth Peabody, has been a "big deal" in fighting for those who need mental health help and can't afford it.
Bette Midler ... Whoopi Goldberg .... Pete Peterson...Marie Brenner...Gail Sheehy...Gail Collins...Christopher Buckley...have proudly sat with us for this charity, telling all in a now annual event that lasts about an hour and a half of chit chat from New Yorkers we all love, hate, admire, or wonder about. There is a little glass-lifting after.
This year on April 22 at 6 p.m. at a yet to-be-known East Side mid 60's location, we have snagged the important couple -- ALEX WITCHEL & FRANK RICH!
Don't you wonder what this well-known but mysteriously married twosome will say? I do. Do they deserve their importance and fame and why did one split from the New York Times and the other stay? Are they mean-spirited or generous intellectuals with the talent to really count? Do you want to tell them off or throw roses? Do they sleep in the nude? Anything goes here. And I will be their ruthless questioner and you know how flummoxed I can get. Oh well, Piers Morgan wasn't available, or wanted.
Last year, Tommy Tune asked from the audience how much money Whoopi makes and director Joel Schumacher asked Whoopi to marry him.
Please buy tickets to this. It's about the most reasonable good deed in a naughty world that doesn't cost an arm and leg. It's the very kind of counseling that keeps the desperate from guns or drugs or doing harm to themselves. It just helps people "to be." Please call 212-889-4042 or contact Peabody.E@gmail.com. There is limited seating.
• I've spent some time anticipating Holly Peterson's second novel, all about the wild life of the rich, would-be rich, famous and infamous in Manhattan modern life.
This novel follows on Holly's earlier first fiction, in which she coined the description The Manny. That book concerned itself with stories of young men who've taken over the nanny slot and are caring for the children of the 1 percent.
"I think you can peg men by the decade in which they began practicing sex!" says a character in Hollys's new title "The Idea of Him."
It's coming as of today from William Morrow as an imprint from Harper Collins. This is about marriage...sex...romance...disillusionment...children as a reward and punishment...the aspiring who combust all around us.
But following on Holly's quote above, it occurred to me I'd never seen a description of how different the sexual decades can be. Here's a brief summary.
I don't want to spoil your reading.
The Holly fictional sex formula:
1. Guys in their fifties? Desperate to show they've still got that old sexual mojo.
2. Thirties and forties men? Pretty much the same but now they've learned more about pleasing women and know what women like, what turns them on? Normal, pleasurable sex.
3. The under-thirties? A wild card these days. They watch Internet porn "as if it were a tutorial." Once upon a time, guys learned about sex from usually some older female. Now, they go direct to the Internet and porn.
•THERE'S more Holly Peterson teaches about our lives and times. She had a bestseller right out of the box with "The Manny" and she knows the fashion financial, philanthropic, highs and lows of how to eat, entertain, and get things done. And how women become true life-affirming pals.
Holly turned to fiction after a young working life in which she toiled for ABC News and won an Emmy. She was influenced by her psychiatrist mother, Sally, her stepmom, Joan Ganz Cooney of Sesame Street fame, and she was widely traveled with her father, the business whiz and philanthropist Pete Peterson. She formerly worked for Talk magazine, Newsweek and Tina Brown.
Don't miss The Idea of Him. It will surprise you, if you let it.