Author Jennifer Belle thinks that “publishing is no laughing matter these days.” That’s why she’s hired actresses to laugh hysterically while reading her new book The Seven Year Bitch. It’s about a 40-something who loses her Wall Street job and feels trapped with a kid and a husband and becomes a “seven year bitch”—getting a new job, having affairs, etc. In order to boost sales for her latest effort—her previous books Going Down and High Maintenance sold fairly well—she auditioned over 100 actresses to play readers. She narrowed it down to 40 lucky ladies who will receive $8/ hour to go to the most populated parts of New York City this weekend and crack up while reading her chick lit. Kind of grassroots meets guerilla marketing. I think it’s kind of genius … as long as the book is actually funny and not as depressing as it sounds. [NY Post] Keep reading »
Remember middle school? It is the ultimate awkward span of life—you are no longer a cute little kid and not quite a “young woman,” instead you are at some uncomfortable in-between. My middle school years can be simplified into a tragic set of bangs, an unexplainable draw to synthetic shirts with tigers on them and a horrible incident where I shaved off half my eyebrows. For the cast of “Harry Potter,” it was a little bit different. They started filming the first flick back in 2000, when they were 11 or younger. This means that the majority of the cast had this embarrassing pre-teen period captured on film for millions to see. And that is bound to form a tight bond. Now that the last scenes for the final “Potter” movie, “The Deathly Hollows,” are almost complete, the cast is coming out about how it feels to leave behind the people and story that has been part of their lives since middle school. It may be hard for the millions of fans when “Harry Potter” ends, but it sounds like some of the cast members might need therapy to get over the loss. After the jump, see what Harry, Hermione, Ron and more have to say about bidding farewell to the franchise that has dominated the majority of their life. Keep reading »
Almost a year ago, we heard that VH1 had a new reality series in the works called the “OCD Project,” where a group of people whose need for order, fear of germs, obsession with death and reliance on rituals are ruining their lives. Basically, we thought it was going to be “The Real World” with an enormous amount of handwashing. Well, the show premieres tonight at 10 p.m. and it looks like it’s going to be amazingly intense. The six 20- and 30-somethings on the series live together for 21 days and work with Dr. David Tolin, whose approach to treating OCD is extreme—not only in analyzing triggers but in making patients do the very things they fear most. Participants will have to chew gum that they rubbed in toilets, go to fake funerals for their loved ones, sit in dumpsters and lick the bottom of shoes. In the end, hopefully they’ll come through healed. I cannot wait for this show, though am guessing a box of tissues will be required for viewing. Keep reading »
After much speculation, Victoria’s Secret Angel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been named as Megan Fox‘s replacement in “Transformers 3.” This 23-year-old Brit made her debut on the VS runway in 2006, and four years later she’s slated to star in a Hollywood blockbuster. But who is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, anyway? Find out 10 facts about her after the jump. Keep reading »
“Sex and the City 2” hits theaters today! Whether your reaction is a squeal or groan, it’s a big deal. Critics have given the “SATC” revival a beating for being materialistic and totally unrealistic, but all of them have admitted that the ladies will line up to lovingly consume the movie anyways, thanks to their extreme devotion to the TV show. Ta-da, box office success! Movie studios are getting this trick. There is now a growing roster of movies—both coming soon and just rumored—adapted from small-screen staples. After the jump, eight TV-to-film transfers that we’re excited for. Keep reading »
John Mayer has a bad rep. Once a soulful crooner with a baby face, he’s morphed into a cocky megastar making his way around the proverbial Hollywood block. In 2006, he used his relationship with ex Jennifer Love Hewitt as material for his stand-up and he went on to date (and ditch) Jessica Simpson, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston. In January, he hit a new low when he appeared to be macking on America’s sweetheart, 20-year-old Taylor Swift. A few weeks later, an interview he did with Playboy came out. The quote that reverberated around the interwebs: “Yeah, [Jessica Simpson] is like crack cocaine to me … Sexually it was crazy. It was like napalm, sexual napalm …”
After that, John became persona non grata. Even this video he posted this month, called “A Life In the Day,” couldn’t redeem him.
But here’s the thing. Even after all the bonkers tweets and swarmy quotes,
See, I have spent countless nights falling asleep to John Mayer’s voice whispering from my speakers. I was a senior in high school when Room for Squares debuted. Before that, I had no point of reference in music. A good jam could get me dancing, but there was no musical artist who activated my soul and left an ineffaceable mark on it. Mayer unbuckled my musical chastity belt. I felt every song, as his lyrics took on a sweet synchronicity with my life and with my thoughts. Listening to his albums was like finishing a long run. Where at the crest of a hill, short of breath, I look at the view and think, “This is me. At least for now.”
I am not the type of fan to paste pictures of him on my wall, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an inclination for the schmaltzy. I’ve never been to one of his concerts because I am holding out for my boyfriend to take me. I don’t need a concert, though, to celebrate Mayer’s music. It is the places I take his words with me that matter. As a student, with Mayer echoing from my dashboard, I started my five-hour drives between home and school. Despite the long highway, his melodies made me feel like I was home, back in a familiar rhythm. In 2006, when I was living in Paris, I took long walks, tuning out to the song “3×5.” It was during one of these strolls, when I was relishing the Belleville neighborhood I now miss, that I realized the name Mayer sounds like meilleur, the French word for “better.”
Back in the States, over a year later, I found out how much John Mayer’s fame had blown up. I was listening to “Gravity” in the dentist’s office while high-speed drills buzzed as if they were singing backup. Or in the grocery store, Mayer played as the intercom interrupted to announce specials on Country Crock margarine. Then, he himself transformed, going from a shaggy fluff hairdo to luscious locks and round cheeks to a chiseled jawbone. Hunky and borderline pretty, he became a bona fide rock star with a proclivity for high-profile relationships and kissing and telling. Maybe he’s not bothered by the reaction his behavior begets. Yet, for a man who creates original compositions, it seems like he’s stuck on repeat.
Picking up a 2009 magazine interview, I didn’t make it to the third paragraph before his Porsche Cayenne and Land Rover Defender got as many mentions as his manager. Mayer, it seemed, was making the transition from a man of music and depth to a man of acquisition and status. This set a glum and insincere tone to his art of melody for me from then on.
The dichotomy of John Mayer’s image and his tunes left me a confused fan. I wrestled with this for over a year, feeling silly for taking it too seriously, yet not silly enough to throw him back on my dream-time playlist.
When his latest album, Battle Studies, came out I waited months before buying it. I tiptoed past it in the record store and then would look back, unsure which part of the musician I’d be getting, the contrived rock star or the lyrical wunderkind. In order to avoid last-moment register retreat, I took standing in line out of the equation and bought the album on iTunes by simply pressing “enter.” Alone in my room I played the album once, twice, three times, and afterward I kept thinking, Damn John, you did it again. His music peeled away emotional layers that weigh me down, leaving me lucid and light.
I now know that is more than I could ever ask for in a musician. Yes, the fame is there. But the music came first; it always does.
Critics have been panning “Sex and the City 2.” MTV’s Kurt Loder described it as “a ghastly mess, a stake in the heart of the great TV series that ran from 1998 to 2004. This second ‘SATC’ movie (I liked the first one) is misconceived on every level.” OK, so there’s really no comparison to the TV show, which is in a totally different league than the sequel. But I wouldn’t say “SATC 2″ is a mess that can’t be enjoyed. I saw a screening of it last night and actually LOL’d (a rarity for me) at all the Samantha sex jokes, and I oohed and ahhed at the posh accommodations Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha enjoyed in Abu Dhabi. But these aren’t the only reasons you should see this rom-com, which should be enjoyed simply as that. Check out 10 more SPOILER-FREE reasons to see “Sex and the City 2,” after the jump. Keep reading »