Not such an engaging couple

March 02, 2000|By Kevin Cowherd

THE INFINITE capacity of people to delude themselves is on display everywhere, but nowhere more than in Hollywood, where it's practically at epidemic proportions.

Take this creepy (at least to me) romance between Michael Douglas and mega-babe Catherine Zeta-Jones.

As practically everyone in the world knows, Douglas, 55, and Zeta-Jones, 30, are engaged to be married. In fact, Zeta-Jones is reportedly pregnant with Douglas' baby.

OK, no big deal. This kind of thing happens all the time in Hollywood.

But now Douglas has been going around saying in interviews that he can't understand why people are making such a big deal about the age difference -- 25 years, if your math's shaky -- between the two.

Further, he can't understand why people are surprised the two are an item in the first place.

I don't know maybe Michael Douglas really is that clueless.

But anyone else with half a brain knows what's going on here.

Let's say Douglas wasn't a big-shot Hollywood actor rolling in dough.

Let's say he, oh, drove a truck for UPS. And let's say he went to see the movie "Zorro" and was taken with the lovely Zeta-Jones and starts bugging her over the phone for a date.

She keeps putting him off, so finally he gets desperate.

So one day after work he shows up at her house, and the maid lets him in and yells up to Catherine: "Miss Z, that nice UPS guy is here to see you."

So she comes downstairs, and there's Douglas standing there in his brown uniform with "Mike" embroidered over one pocket.

And maybe he's got a smudge of grease on his forehead from where he brushed up against the inside of his truck picking up a box of Tupperware.

Now how is she going to react to this?

Is she going to say: "Lemme grab my coat; this is the man of my dreams!" Uh, I don't think so.

I think what she's going to say is: "Marjorie, call the police." Then she's going to run back upstairs and lock herself in her bedroom. And she's not going to come out until she hears the squad car with Douglas in handcuffs backing down the driveway.

See, it's one of the eternal verities of Hollywood: If you're a young, beautiful actress on the way up, you're just not hooking up with a 55-year-old UPS guy.

It's the same with all these other rich, famous older guys who marry these gorgeous young babes.

Take The Donald himself, Mr. Trump.

If Donald Trump worked in a garage in Secaucus, N.J., fixing truck transmissions for the highway department, you think he'd be surrounded by all these gorgeous models wherever he goes?

You think Marla Maples and Ivana would be throwing themselves at him? You think the New York Post would be quoting Trump's girlfriends in screaming headlines: "Best Sex I Ever Had!"

Are you kidding me?

If he wasn't filthy rich, Trump would be just another middle-aged guy with a bad comb-over.

And he'd be driving home every night in his 10-year-old Dodge Dart and plopping himself in front of the TV with a Schlitz tall-boy to watch "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

Mick Jagger, Hugh Hefner, Jack Nicholson, Tony Randall, Woody Allen, Rod Stewart, Kelsey Grammer -- the list of these celebrity rich guys walking around with women half their age is endless.

Again, this is nothing new. It's been going on forever.

But you'd think these guys would at least be honest -- with themselves and the press -- about their arm-candy.

Just once I'd like to hear one of these guys say in an interview: "She's with me 'cause I'm rich, powerful and I've got so many Academy Awards I'm using 'em as doorstops. End of conversation."

You could almost respect a guy like that.

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