Pop Life 

Instant karma

Instant karma

When so many people, especially celebrities, get away with so much inexcusable behavior, it’s nice when you hear about somebody getting a little well-deserved payback. Hole frontwoman, would-be actress, and all-around fevered ego Courtney Love has certainly handed out her fair share of damage during the last eight years of her high-profile life: sucker-punching Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna backstage at a show; gloating about a supposed one-night stand with Trent Reznor while ridiculing his boudoir skills; claiming to Howard Stern that Kurt Cobain never liked Dave Grohl; feuding with Marilyn Manson on a joint tour. To put it mildly, Love has left a long path of enemies in her wake.

Well, it seems someone has had enough of dear Courtney. The singer recently filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Lesley Barber, the ex-wife of her current beau, Geffen Records exec Jim Barber. It would seem Lesley has been harassing Love for nearly two years now, because she claims Love broke up her marriage. Among the deeds the former Mrs. Barber is accused of: planting cocaine in Love’s car, attempting to burn down her house, having a P.I. spy on her, and trying to run Love over with her car.

Leaving aside the fact that Kurt Cobain must be rolling in his grave at the news that Love is dating a record executive, I say to Lesley Barber: You go, girl!

Career girl

You’ve got to give Britney Spears’ handlers credit; they know when it’s time to shift career gears. With the navel-baring singer’s music reaching the saturation point, it was announced recently that Spears will be starring in her first major motion picture. This is a shrewd move, considering that much like the new Backstreet Boys album, her next record will probably reap substantially fewer dividends. Not to mention the fact that she really has no actual singing talent.

The proposed film will be a coming-of-age flick in which Spears’ character road-trips with two childhood friends to Los Angeles. The film will be directed by Beastie Boy Mike D’s wife Tamara Davis, who is unfortunately responsible for giving us the Adam Sandler vehicle Billy Madison.

In related Spears cinema news, she fired her video director Gregory Dark recently when she learned that he got his start in the business directing several porn movies. On Dark’s résumé are such modern-day debauched classics as Devil in Miss Jones 4: The Final Outrage, Between the Cheeks 1, 2, and 3, New Wave Hookers 2, and my personal favorite, Hootermania. (The performance he coaxed out of Leanna Foxxx in that film is simply sublime.)

It delights me to no end to know that someone out there has shaken the hands of both Britney Spears and Ron “The Hedgehog” Jeremy. But I do think Spears is unnecessarily limiting her career options here. You just can’t deny fate.

True love

Nothing says “I love you” like the need to make sure that if your marriage goes to hell, at least you’ll come out swimming in cash. It was reported recently in the London Mail that a clause in Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones’ prenuptial agreement states that if Douglas cheats on her, he will have to fork over $5 million. To make matters worse, if the marriage goes sour, Douglas has to give Zeta-Jones $1 million for each year of the marriage. Your head just gets dizzy from the romance, doesn’t it?

In somewhat sweeter, if more bizarre, nuptial news, it has been widely rumored that at Kate Hudson and Black Crowe Chris Robinson’s wedding, Hudson was wearing his grippers under her dress and he was wearing her delicates under his tux. Even in a room full of people, they needed to feel close to each other—or they’re just secretly cross-dressers.

Straight to video

When Hollywood latches onto a bad idea, it really sticks to its guns. For several years now, there have been rumblings about an unnecessary sequel to Basic Instinct. The continuing saga of this movie is a textbook example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood.

First, let’s tackle the issue of why anyone would ever consider making a sequel to this film. Sure, it might have made some serious dough when it was released nine years ago, but in today’s more shock-resistant times, I doubt there’d be much clamor for the bisexual murder sprees of Catherine Tramell. And Sharon Stone reprising the role of Tramell isn’t something remarkable like Anthony Hopkins reprising Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins left an indelible mark on the public consciousness with his portrayal of a flesh-eating sociopath; Stone just left a quick beaver shot.

To make matters worse, though, Stone isn’t exactly the sex siren she was a decade ago. She’s more like a soccer mom. But does any of this dissuade MGM from sinking big bucks into this guaranteed flop? Of course not. Not only do they get Stone, but they promise her a $15 million pay-or-play deal. In other words, regardless of whether the film gets made, she reaps a fortune for committing.

How dumb are these people? Stone isn’t even that big of a star anymore. Michael Douglas, showing better sense than in his prenuptial agreements, declined to participate. Original director Paul Verhoeven declined to return because he found Stone difficult to work with. David Cronenberg, who is far too talented to waste time on drivel like this, was hired to take over. Now his involvement is murky. With no male lead and no director, the studio is now considering dropping Stone to hire a younger, less expensive, and less temperamental actress.

Why not just drop the project and cut your losses, you morons? Oh well, if it has to be made, my vote for a Stone replacement would be Jaime Pressly. I feel she has the talent to do for Basic Instinct 2 what she accomplished with Poison Ivy: New Seduction.

...when I'm 64

In recent months, a couple of high-profile ’80s music superstars have been making attempts to relaunch themselves into the limelight. Unfortunately for them, their age is showing more than ever.

Secluded from sight and supposedly at work on a new GNR record with a new lineup, Axl Rose has been the equivalent of a rock ’n’ roll Howard Hughes the last seven years. This is an image Rose himself is apparently aware of, as evidenced by the cartoon film that played before Guns ’N Roses’ show New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas and then two weekends ago at Rock in Rio. In the cartoon, a bearded Rose with long fingernails lies in bed while a buxom nurse attends to his needs.

Unfortunately, Axl doesn’t even look that good. Photos from the Rock in Rio festival show a 38-year-old Rose who hasn’t been afraid of a Tiramasu or two over the past eight years. With the memory of a wire-thin, raging Rose left in people’s brains, the generous love handles hanging over his waist come as quite a shock. Let’s hope Axl gets in touch with Jenny Craig soon.

Meanwhile, in the wake of its own recent album, U2 has been waging an embarrassing media campaign to prove it’s still a kids’ band. But when Bono and mates make cheesy appearances on MTV’s TRL, they look like reserved adults crashing the skin-deep party. And in a move that I feel is a real disservice to fans, U2 has opted for general-admission seating on the floor for its upcoming tour. Most hard-core U2 fans are in their late 20s or 30s and aren’t interested in jostling with a bunch of other people for a place to see the band. They’re middle-incomers who more than likely won’t mind paying the price for a reserved seat and a hassle-free evening.

Quotidian Challenge

“I’ve got a Molotov cocktail with a match to go. I smoke my cigarette with style!”

E-mail the origin of this useless bit of trivia to poplife the shame of your name printed in the paper and some free useless crap from the Nashville Scene!

Previous week’s answer: Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat in All the President’s Men.

Winner: Leah Eldridge.

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