By Romeo San Vicente
Manilow takes Stipe and Hanks to the Copacabana
The fallout from “Mamma Mia!” continues, and this time Michael Stipe, Tom Hanks and Barry Manilow are hatching a plan to woo you back into theaters to sing along with 35-year-old songs you only pretend not to love. Stipe and Hanks’s production companies are joining forces to produce a musical film based on Manilow’s biggest hits – and it’s coming soon. No title, no cast, no release date, no nothing just yet, but the plot idea involves a group of Manilow fans who go to Las Vegas and find themselves swept up in a tuneful whirl of non-stop Barry action. Note to the producers: If it winds up set in the 1970s, shoehorn in some of Manilow’s TV commercial jingles from the era. Because who wouldn’t want to hear Meryl Streep sing the KFC “get a bucket of chicken” song?
Tilda Swinton wants to be your new ‘Auntie’
Everyone knows that life is a banquet and that most poor suckers are starving to death. And they know this because of the hilarious, beloved movie “Auntie Mame.” And they know that Mame is – and will always be -forever associated with the late, great Rosalind Russell. But let’s say that someone really, really cool wanted to remake the movie in an aggressively hip, modern way. Let’s say it was Tilda Swinton, someone so talented and idiosyncratic and worshipped by gays already that she is known on the funny fashion-attack Web site GoFugYourself by one all-caps name: SWINTON. Let’s say that it happens like that. It’d be OK – right? Because that’s her plan. And right now it’s just that, a plan. But this is a woman generally to be trusted, so Romeo votes that we all extend that trust. Besides, it’s a better plan than the recently announced “Yellow Submarine” remake. Way better.
Catherine Deneuve rides ‘The Train’
Sometimes you just want the comfort of the familiar. You want to sit down in a cushy art-house theater on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and you want to see an old-school French director make a movie with Catherine Deneuve in it, one where you can marvel at her legendary face and manner, the grand dame doing her thing. You’ll soon get your chance when acclaimed filmmaker Andre Techine, the gay creator of modern queer-themed greatness like “The Witnesses” and “Wild Reeds,” reunites with Deneuve (together they’ve already worked on the art-house hits “Thieves” and “My Favorite Season”) for “The Girl on The Train.” Deneuve plays the once-radical, now-settled-down mother of a young woman who lies about being the victim of a hate crime. Melodrama ensues. Already released in France, expect the train to pull into its American stop sometime in the coming year.
Ellen’s new part-time job: What’s in it for the gays?
Every single media outlet in the U.S. has weighed in on the perceived appropriateness and/or WTF-ness of Ellen DeGeneres replacing Paula Abdul as a permanent judge on “American Idol.” Romeo is all for this new development if for no other reason than Ellen can probably help bring cooler choreography for those frequently tragic results-show group-sing numbers. But so far very few pundits have addressed the burning issue of what this all means for the gays. For example: Would Adam Lambert have won with Ellen’s official judge support behind him? Will we witness the welcome death of the endlessly hilarious (to them anyway) gay-baiting jokes between Simon and Seacrest? And will there finally be a softly butch, Tracy Chapman-esque, female singer-songwriter who makes it to the top 10 thanks to “velvet mafia” cheerleading? No matter what happens, suddenly the show seems like must-watch TV again.