There are few surprises in predictable Hollywood

Barry Koltnow
The Orange County Register

I am shocked. I couldn't be more shocked. I'm kidding, of course. I am not shocked at all. I was being sarcastic.

There was nothing really shocking about the announcement that you-know-who had filed divorce papers.

Normally, I don't like to mock divorces, even those that occur in Hollywood. I understand that celebrities may be rich, spoiled and attractive, but they are real people and therefore do not deserve to be ridiculed for their real-life problems.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are a whole other matter.

This marriage was a joke from the start, and I don't believe that anything I say can be too cruel, too harsh or too inappropriate.

This divorce was as predictable as things get in Hollywood.

Everyone knew this was going to happen. It was so obvious that it is hard to believe that even a backwater pop star couldn't recognize it.

Was there no one around her - a friend, a close relative, a mother, perhaps - who might have suggested that Federline was not the wisest choice for a life partner?

The unraveling of this marriage was the least surprising event that has happened this year in Hollywood. And that got me thinking about the notion of predictability in this town. Some events seem so predictable, while others seem to come out of the blue.

For instance, if I were to predict that in the coming year, Britney's career would recover nicely from the divorce and that she would continue to sell out arenas and hit the top of the record charts, you probably would not be surprised.

However, if I suggested that Federline would have any kind of a show-business career after these 15 minutes of fame, you most likely would be very surprised. Listen, if Britney's personal endorsement couldn't jump-start his pathetic rap career, nothing could. I think this human weed will disappear from the public landscape so fast that you won't even notice his absence.

Hey, this is fun.

If Borat's infamous green thong does not sweep the costume stores next Halloween, I suspect that you would not be surprised.

But if Nicole Richie were the last female celebrity whose weight is obsessed over by the tabloid media, you would be surprised.

If Angelina Jolie adopted another foreign baby, I don't think you would be surprised.

However, if she married Brad Pitt, that would surprise a lot of people.

Despite Tom Cruise's sinking popularity among fans fed up with his public statements and bizarre behavior, and the abrupt ouster from his longtime business address at Paramount, I don't think anyone would be surprised if he enjoyed a career comeback. He didn't kill anyone. One good movie and he's back.

If Jessica Simpson wins an Oscar next year, that would be a big surprise.

If Kate Winslet appeared naked in another movie, no one would be surprised. She is a woman who is very comfortable with her body, and we love her for that.

It would be a huge surprise if the tabloids decided that they have said everything there is to say about Jennifer Aniston, and chose never to write about her again.

I can't imagine anyone being surprised if Faith Hill were to survive this silly non-controversy over her reaction to Carrie Underwood's victory at the Country Music Awards.

It would not be surprising if Paris Hilton was still famous a year from now for no apparent reason.

No one would be surprised if the TV networks announced that pilots already were being planned for new shows called "Ugly Rita," "Ugly Ethel" and "Ugly Uma."

I know that I would be very surprised if NBC stuck by its Aaron Sorkin-penned drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." The Monday-night program has not been doing well in the ratings, and NBC executives have publicly supported the show, although I would not be surprised if they've already decided when they're going to dump it.

I would be surprised if "American Idol" didn't repeat as a ratings champ when it returns to the air. I read a story last week that quoted "Idol" judge Simon Cowell denigrating the quality of the new contestants at early auditions. I would not be surprised if his statements were nothing more than the official start of the show's marketing campaign.

I would be surprised if director Sofia Coppola decided to make a sequel to her disappointing film "Marie Antoinette," even though she knows exactly what she did wrong the first time. She has said that extending the French queen's story to include her imprisonment and subsequent execution would have been unwieldy. But that was the only part of the story that people really wanted to see.

I would not be surprised if movie audiences embraced Daniel Craig as the new James Bond when "Casino Royale" opens later this week.





12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.


Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

By the Book

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.


Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold Celebrate New Album With Performance Video (premiere)

Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and Ingunn Ringvold share a 20-minute performance video that highlights their new album, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation. "This was an opportunity to perform the new songs and pretend in a way that we were still going on tour because we had been so looking forward to that."


David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.


On Their 2003 Self-Titled Album, Buzzcocks Donned a Harder Sound and Wore it With Style and Taste

Buzzcocks, the band's fourth album since their return to touring in 1989, changed their sound but retained what made them great in the first place

Reading Pandemics

Chaucer's Plague Tales

In 18 months, the "Great Pestilence" of 1348-49 killed half of England's population, and by 1351 half the population of the world. Chaucer's plague tales reveal the conservative edges of an astonishingly innovative medieval poet.


Country's Jaime Wyatt Gets in Touch With Herself on 'Neon Cross'

Neon Cross is country artist Jaime Wyatt's way of getting in touch with all the emotions she's been going through. But more specifically, it's about accepting both the past and the present and moving on with pride.


Counterbalance 17: Public Enemy - 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'

Hip-hop makes its debut on the Big List with Public Enemy’s meaty, beaty manifesto, and all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk. Counterbalance’s Klinger and Mendelsohn give it a listen.


Sondre Lerche and the Art of Radical Sincerity

"It feels strange to say it", says Norwegian pop artist Sondre Lerche about his ninth studio album, "but this is the perfect time for Patience. I wanted this to be something meaningful in the middle of all that's going on."


How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.