Big names, bit parts

November 15, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg

Along with the tabloid coverage and lawsuits, the best thing about being notorious has got to be doing movie cameos. It's easy work, and besides, when someone's tainted reputation precedes him or her, it's hard to be accepted as another character anyway.

There are exceptions, of course. Take debutante turned revolutionary turned socialite Patty Hearst, currently in John Waters' "Pecker." She started out as a novelty cameo diva for Waters, but has managed to parlay it into an actual career.

That's hardly the rule, though: Madonna's film forays, anyone?

Here are capsule reviews of cameos made by the notorious (and married-to-the-notorious) in three movies in theaters now:

* Marla Maples in "Happiness":

In a terrible pastel-blue skirt suit and equally frightening white leather-strapped heels and purse, the woman formerly known as Ms. Trump plays a New Jersey divorcee cum real estate agent cum confidante to a recently abandoned wife.

It's a sly little role (she declares divorce is the best thing that ever happened to her), and Maples looks, as always, hairspray-perfect, anchor-woman beautiful.

* Donald Trump in "Celebrity":

The Donald plays himself being interviewed by actress Judy Davis for a vapid celebrity-sighting show in a glitzy New York restaurant. He delivers a brief, deadpan riff on his tastelessness and excess. No mention of the glories of divorce.

Looking as tired and turtle-like as ever, he doesn't quite light up the screen the way his ex does.

* Lawrence Taylor in "The Waterboy":

The former New York Giants linebacker, lightning bolt earring dangling, tells a group of prepubescent football players, motivational-speaker style, to stay away from crack cocaine. Life failed to imitate art, though, when Taylor was arrested for crack ,, possession shortly before the movie's debut. Maybe playing second string to Adam Sandler was just too much.

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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