Wendy Wasserstein -- and Gays -- at the Movies

Wendy Wasserstein -- and Gays -- at the Movies THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- May 1998

LAVENDER TRUE DILLY DILLY
It is a sign of the times in which we live -- as well as a sign of Hollywood's maturity -- that gays are at last allowed their happily-ever-aftering in movies, and you can thank at least two high-profile New York playwrights for bringing the screen around to this long-time-in-coming conclusion. Last summer, the Paul Rudnick-authored In & Out got an Oscar-nominated Joan Cusack all the way down the aisle before her fiance (Kevin Kline) suddenly went gay on her -- and he was happy with that decision. Now it's Wendy Wasserstein's turn to second that motion, which she does with the sweetly affecting The Object of My Affection. The film amorously pairs Jennifer Aniston of TV's "Friends" with Paul Rudd from Broadway's The Last Night of Ballyhoo -- despite the slight fact that his character is gay and hers has motherhood pangs. Therein hangs a tale -- and one that Wasserstein previously explored (to Pulitzer Prize-winning effect) in The Heidi Chronicles, which just went to video via Turner Home Entertainment. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Hulce act out this impossible, but eloquently touching relationship -- under the skilled, Emmy-nominated direction of Paul Bogart. . . . The Object of My Affection, which comes from a novel by Stephen McCauley, is the first non-play that director Nicholas Hytner has brought to the screen. He previously helmed The Madness of King George and The Crucible, and now he's bracing to film Chicago with Goldie Hawn as celebrity murderess Roxie Hart. . . . Nigel Hawthorne, who was an Oscar-nominated mad King George for Hytner (and an elderly gay man in The Object of My Affection), is currently filming Terrence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy with Jeremy Northam and Gemma Jones. It is being adapted and directed by David Mamet, who pulled his wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) out of The Old Neighborhood and found a place for her among the Brits in this flick.

SOMETHING TO ROAR ABOUT
Should Tony voters require a little reminding about the magic that Julie Taymor has created this season, Hyperion has sallied forth with a lush, lavishly illustrated book about her show's production, The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway. . . . Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) and Brenda Blethyn (Secrets and Lies) are co-starring with Michael Caine and Jim Broadbent in Little Voice, the film version of Jim Cartwright's quirky comedy, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. In London it won the 1992 Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy, but on Broadway, it lasted only nine performances. One reason: It arrived without its secret ingredient -- Jane Horrocks's title performance of an introverted girl who can do uncanny impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, et al. Yes, you'd better believe it: Horrocks will do the movie.

Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in 20th Century Fox's The Object Of My Affection
Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in 20th Century Fox's The Object Of My Affection

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- May 1998

LAVENDER TRUE DILLY DILLY

It is a sign of the times in which we live -- as well as a sign of Hollywood's maturity -- that gays are at last allowed their happily-ever-aftering in movies, and you can thank at least two high-profile New York playwrights for bringing the screen around to this long-time-in-coming conclusion. Last summer, the Paul Rudnick-authored In & Out got an Oscar-nominated Joan Cusack all the way down the aisle before her fiance (Kevin Kline) suddenly went gay on her -- and he was happy with that decision. Now it's Wendy Wasserstein's turn to second that motion, which she does with the sweetly affecting The Object of My Affection. The film amorously pairs Jennifer Aniston of TV's "Friends" with Paul Rudd from Broadway's The Last Night of Ballyhoo -- despite the slight fact that his character is gay and hers has motherhood pangs. Therein hangs a tale -- and one that Wasserstein previously explored (to Pulitzer Prize-winning effect) in The Heidi Chronicles, which just went to video via Turner Home Entertainment. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Hulce act out this impossible, but eloquently touching relationship -- under the skilled, Emmy-nominated direction of Paul Bogart. . . . The Object of My Affection, which comes from a novel by Stephen McCauley, is the first non-play that director Nicholas Hytner has brought to the screen. He previously helmed The Madness of King George and The Crucible, and now he's bracing to film Chicago with Goldie Hawn as celebrity murderess Roxie Hart. . . . Nigel Hawthorne, who was an Oscar-nominated mad King George for Hytner (and an elderly gay man in The Object of My Affection), is currently filming Terrence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy with Jeremy Northam and Gemma Jones. It is being adapted and directed by David Mamet, who pulled his wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) out of The Old Neighborhood and found a place for her among the Brits in this flick.

SOMETHING TO ROAR ABOUT
Should Tony voters require a little reminding about the magic that Julie Taymor has created this season, Hyperion has sallied forth with a lush, lavishly illustrated book about her show's production, The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway. . . . Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) and Brenda Blethyn (Secrets and Lies) are co-starring with Michael Caine and Jim Broadbent in Little Voice, the film version of Jim Cartwright's quirky comedy, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. In London it won the 1992 Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy, but on Broadway, it lasted only nine performances. One reason: It arrived without its secret ingredient -- Jane Horrocks's title performance of an introverted girl who can do uncanny impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, et al. Yes, you'd better believe it: Horrocks will do the movie.