We Kidman you not, it's time to take a celebrity Cruz

Tom and Pen are an item, Crowe may be a Dadiator ... and we care, yes, we care.


January 27, 2002|By Tamara Ikenberg | Tamara Ikenberg,Special to the Sun

When Nicole Kidman rose to accept her Golden Globe for the seizure-inducing Moulin Rouge last weekend, it was more than an impossibly gorgeous Aussie accepting a fake Oscar, it was high drama: Striking divorcee enjoys career high in aftermath of traumatic breakup, while ex-hubbie and his fiery Latina munchkin, whom he may have recently wed in Colorado (juicy, juicy!) are nowhere to be seen.

We don't know Nicole, but we think we know her story, and in that is a lesson for us all.

Three months ago, the cult of celebrity worship -- America's passion for knowing, or at least being fed, the iffy info about superstar private lives -- was predicted to perish. Surely it would be eclipsed by issues of life, death, war and recession.

Not a chance.

Sure, Talk magazine has tanked, but maybe that was because people were getting ill from seeing Gwynnie Paltrow on every other cover. Paltrow was to Talk as Jennifer Love Hewitt is to Teen People. And speaking of post-Sept. 11 sensitivity, Talk certainly didn't show much in the recent "Gwyneth Gets Heavy" issue, featuring pictures of Gwyneth's head superimposed on a near-naked plus-size lady. The last thing our country needs is a fat Gwyneth Paltrow.

After about 15 minutes of feigning indifference and disgust with virtual celebrity stalking, America promptly began slobbering over stars again. Remember, this is a country whose government asked Hollywood action-movie directors for military advice. And Hollywood could argue it did its part for the war effort. Britney gave a few bucks, they all got together and wore black and looked serious and concerned on a telethon.

Now they're acting ridiculous again; stealing stuff, allegedly impregnating unstable rock chicks, trotting about with English-impaired ingenues with same-sounding last names, getting divorced after marriages shorter than Tom Cruise.

If we're supposed to be less interested in where they're sticking their posh little noses, shouldn't they re-ciprocate by not engaging in such silly yet obsession-worthy behavior?

Did you hear the rumor about the Russell Crowe and Courtney Love pregnancy? Supposedly the banshee bombshell, who was dating the irrepressible Aussie jackass, recently miscarried, making Russell the possible "Dadiator," as the Brit tabloids refer to him.

Would the spawn of Russell and Courtney come out swinging, swearing and swigging? Can't that cad Crowe take a tiny breather from his mission to shag every vulnerable vamp in Hollywood? Can Courtney possibly restrain her wacko self from shrilly degrading Crowe's subsequent gal pals in public?

One celebrity who's tried to keep it low-key is Hollywood's alpha male, Tom Cruise. Hounded by the press, he's resolved to keep his reasons for nixing Nicole a secret, which only flings open the gossip gates wider.

Is he gay? Did Moulin Rouge give him a seizure? Or, maybe, as the friend of the friend of my hairdresser swears, Nick was getting hot and heavy with her bodyguard. And what's going on with him and Penelope Cruz? How can he have a relationship with an elf possessing limited English skills? If a skilled tabloid reporter were to place a secret recording device into the stem of Pen's mojito glass on a night out with Tom, they might pick up something like this:

Penelope: Oh, Tom, you are so handsome, and I am only actress lady shorter than you! And we have same last name!

Tom: You need a Tic Tac.

Penelope: You are famous, and now I will be famous!

Tom: Take it easy, chiquita, you're spilling mojito on your Manolos.

Penelope: You are jerk. I hit on Antonio now!

Quirky young love has faded as well. When Drew Barrymore and the disturbing Tom Green announced divorce plans mere months after their marriage, the public suspected another oh-so-clever stunt by the predictably wild pair. All this while Drew wept bitter tears.

Not that I feel bad for celebrities. Especially ones (Winona Ryder) who have dated Johnny Depp, Jimmy Fallon, Beck, et al., and whose current scandals have all the makings of a movie.

How's this for a sleeper holiday hit? Two days before Christmas, misunderstood, slightly nutty actress, feeling even more misunderstood and nutty because she hasn't had a hit movie in years, goes on klepto-spree at swanky Beverly Hills department store.

Winnie, not to make light of whatever serious mental maladies you may have, but you have either consciously or unconsciously engineered a brilliant publicity stunt. Not only have you inspired an entire generation to steal stuff, but people are saying your name. Well, your working name, anyway. Winnie's real name is Winona Horowitz.

But you already knew that.

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