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Thanks so much to all who entered my contest for “When in Rome” DVDs! The good news is that it was my most popular contest ever. The bad news is that I have only five copies to give away. Thanks so much to all who entered and for your wonderful suggestions for the most romantic city ever. Italy came in first, with many picks for Venice and some for Rome, Siena, and Florence. But Paris was the city with the most votes. Some liked Hawaii and one liked Alaska. Montreal, Chicago, San Francisco and New York had supporters. Many said the most romantic city was whichever one their SO was in.
I will notify the winners by email. Be sure to check your spam filters to make sure my email didn’t go astray and send your address if you haven’t already. Thanks to all who entered. And keep checking, as I have more giveaways coming soon!
Michelle S.
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Lucky Jen Yamato got to meet with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner to talk about “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Her piece for, “Ten Truths Uncovered at the ‘Twilight: Eclipse’ Junket” has lots of great background. Pattinson just watched “Twilight” for the first time all the way through other than recording the DVD commentary — and that even he thinks you need to read the books to understand what’s going on in the movie. Kissing Lautner was a challenge for Stewart. And hitting Pattinson was a challenge for Lautner. Here Pattinson explains what drives him to succeed:

One of the many unpleasant elements of The Killers was the light-hearted portrayal of one of the main characters as a substance abuser. Catherine O’Hara plays the mother of Katherine Heigl’s character. Her role is one drunk joke after another. And there is never a suggestion that anyone in the family has any concerns or resentment or sadness about the fact that she is perpetually drinking, tipsy, or both.

A few decades ago, the funny drunk was a comic staple. Dean Martin and Foster Brooks created entire personas based on an “I’ll drink to that” approach to just about everything. (In real life, both drank very little.) Lee Marvin, best known for playing tough guys in war films and westerns, won an Oscar for a funny drunk role as a broken-down gunslinger (and his identical twin brother) in “Cat Ballou.” Another character introduces himself by saying that he is drunk and a sight gag shows a horse that has had too much to drink.

Lucille Ball had comic drunk scenes (after inadvertently imbibing) in both her television series (the “Vitameatavegamin” episode) and the movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours.” Many serious actors had comedy intoxication scenes on their resumes, from James Stewart (another Oscar-winner, for “The Philadelphia Story”) to Charles Laughton (directed by David Lean in “Hobson’s Choice”). Perhaps most surprising, these kinds of scenes and characters were even found in children’s movies like “Dumbo” and “Aristocats.”

But these days, with heightened awareness of the consequences of drunk driving and the visibility of celebrities who participate in 12 step programs or stay in rehab facilities like the Betty Ford Center, drunkenness, alcoholism, and other substance abuse problems are hard to make funny. In the case of “The Killers, it’s just evidence of the same laziness and bad judgment that makes the rest of the film so painful to watch. But even the deftest 21st century comedies may not be able to find a way to make comedy based on drinking too much work. I am pretty sure that’s progress.