06 March 2006

an open letter to hollywood

Dear Hollywood,

One of my most-anticipated nights of the year has come and gone, and I have to say I'm more than a little disappointed. You know I love you dearly, Hollywood, so the following criticisms are not meant to hurt, but to help.

I liked the idea of the "Return to Glamour" at first -- reminiscent of the Hollywood of the '30s and '40s, when everyone was painfully gorgeous. And last night, yes, Hollywood's best and brightest were indeed gorgeous and composed. But don't you see, Hollywood? Gorgeous and composed are not why we watch the Academy Awards! Where were the fashion disasters? Where were the political statements? Where were the crazy impromptu antics? Where were the drunken missteps? Where was the fun, Hollywood?

Oh, sure, you all looked pretty. You all, for the most part, had politely boring acceptance speeches. But what we want from you is spectacle! We want to be able to gloat that we have better fashion taste than Gwyneth Paltrow; we want to sneer that we'd never cry during our speech; we want to be astonished when an Adrien Brody spontaneously smooches a Halle Berry onstage! What we want, in short, is to stargaze, while being allowed to feel slightly superior from time to time. Yes, Naomi Watts' dress made me chuckle a bit, as did Lauren Bacall stumbling over every other word in the montage intro she read. But overall, Hollywood, you let me down, and you let America down by having the blandest, most white-bread Academy Awards ceremony in years.

And a personal note to Jon Stewart: if I were the type to write fan mail, you'd know how much I adore you. But your humor, your intelligent wit is far too subtle to entertain the public on the scale that we're craving to be entertained on Oscar night. Look, we all hate Billy Crystal, but he knows how to bring the obnoxious, overbearing inanity we expect in an awards host! Jon, your talents are much better suited to the Daily Show, where I hope you will stay forever, or at least until you run for President.

Here's the bottom line, Hollywood: in a year when no one in America saw any of the movies nominated for awards, you shouldn't have expected the actual films to carry the show. Every year there are fewer and fewer quality films for Americans to see, which makes it more and more important that the stars step it up and entertain us with their zany antics. If you can't reliably bring the entertainment to the big screen, then you'd all best bring it to the little screen for that one night a year when we're counting on it.

To paraphrase Lisa Simpson: I write this letter not to nag or whine, but to prod. You can better yourselves!

Love and hugs,

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