With the new year came a sad loss for me - my sweet old dog Phoebe was put to sleep. She was 15 years old and led a full life. Phoebe saw me through some really dark days... and we had a lot of good times, too.
I'm still feeling sad - pet owners will understand - so, if I'm not as cheery as I am normally, I hope you will be patient with me.
Phoebe in July 2010 - she was never happier than she was was all scraggly and covered in mud or dirt.
Now, let's see what is happening in Tinsel Town...
* Bebo gives a rundown of all the latest news about herself.
She’s thrilled to have snagged another film with Aamir, so soon after 3 Idiots. “I thought it would be Samaira’s turn next,” she laughs. Wasn’t she torn between ‘mamu’ (uncle) and nephew, and only landed the Aamir film because Short Term Shaadi’s shoot was hit for a six? “We’ve just wrapped up a schedule of Short Term Shaadi in Las Vegas and one has nothing to do with the other,” she retorts. “Imran’s confident, young, fresh, we make a cute pair. Aamir? Don’t get me started or the monologue will continue over the next three hours.”
I may dislike NRI rom-coms and Imran Khan but I'm willing to give Short Term Shaadi a chance because of Bebo. And who knows, Imran might actually reveal some acting chops when he is opposite an actress instead of a model.
* Tanushree Dutta tells us something we all know already - actresses putting on a skin show is never crucial to a script.
"Actually, when people come to you with the line that shedding of inhibitions is the demand of a particular screen role, they are actually pandering to the public demand. Words like demand of the role or the character are all trash."
That's no reason not to provide a skin show - as long as we all understand exactly what's going on.
* Karan Johar teases us with closet metaphors.
He posted: "My resolution for 2011... get rid of all kinds of excess baggage... emotional and my cluttered closet!!! Why pile up when you can unfold. (sic)."
* Shahrukh Khan... I just don't know. Is it me or has he become really bitter?
* And Akshay Kumar is staying relentlessly positive despite the media bashing he is receiving.
* Archie comics is sending a legal letter to that Archie movie.
"We never made any statement, which suggested that the film is inspired from Archie comics. One of my actors may have said in an interview that the film has a feel similar to Archie, but never that the film is based on it.”
Which may have sounded a lot more convincing if in previous publicity the links between the two properties hadn’t been stressed, with characters stated as being firmly based on Archie inventions.
* Rani Mukerjee wants to make sure audiences know that No One Killed Jessica is not going to be some boring art house film.
And then there are oodles of year-end wrap-ups being posted... most of which don't say anything noteworthy at all. Quite a few are touting the supremacy of a script over everything as the lesson of 2010, but I don't think that's right. You can have a silly script and still make a hit film and you can have a wonderful script and still have a film flop. It all still comes down to star power. Shahrukh Khan is the ONLY reason nobody dismissed MNIK as a Forrest Gump remake. And Dabangg would have been dismissed without Salman Khan in the lead role. And Aamir Khan is the go-to man to sell independent films to a broad audience. Would Dhobi Ghat be making news if it wasn't for him? No.
I'm as big a fan of star power as the next person (CHERRY!) but let's not pretend that there is anything else going on here. Because no matter how hard Passion for Cinema wishes we were all sitting around and getting depressed at art house hits, the mainstream success of a film is always going to depend on 1) getting people into the theater and 2) making people like the film. Star power goes a long way towards both and that's totally fine, as long as we're all honest about it.