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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.

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