Why celebrity parents suck
You have to give Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes some credit: they did OK when picking out a name for their new baby girl, Suri. Sure, it's exotic. Maybe even a little pretentious. But ultimately the spawn of TomKat could have fared much worse, as evidenced by some of the truly life-destroying names doled out by celebrities over the past few years. In honor of Suri and her parents, here's a little quiz of some of the more outrageous Hollywood baby names. See if you can match up the cracked-out parents with the future therapy seekers.
--- Eric Rezsnyak
1. FifiTrixibelle, Peaches
2. Racer, Rebel, Rocket
4. Audio Science
5. Pilot Inspektor
6. Blue Angel
7. Rumer, Scout, Tallulah
8. Phoenix Chi
9. Apple, Moses
11. Moxie CrimeFighter
12. Harley Quinn
A. ShannynSossamon (actress, A Knight's Tale)
B. Mel C (singer, Spice Girls)
C. Lance Henriksen (actor, Aliens)
D. Bob Geldof (music producer, Live Aid)
E. Nicolas Cage (actor, Leaving Las Vegas)
F. Dave "The Edge" Evans (musician, U2)
G. Penn Jillette (comedian, Penn & Teller)
H. Robert Rodriguez (director, Spy Kids)
I. Jason Lee (actor, My Name is Earl)
J. Kevin Smith (director, Clerks)
K. Gwyneth Paltrow (actress, Shakespeare in Love) and Chris Martin (musician, Coldplay)
L. Demi Moore (actress, G.I. Jane) and Bruce Willis (actor, Die Hard)
ANSWER KEY: 1-D, 2-H, 3-E, 4-A, 5-I, 6-F, 7-L, 8-B, 9-K, 10-C, 11-G, 12-J
Life's rich pageant
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a movie truly ahead of its time. Released in 1999, it's a "mockumentary" --- a fake documentary in which the movie is cobbled together via "interviews" with actors playing "real people" --- a storytelling device that hit big a year later with Best in Show. But while both critics and moviegoers embraced that dog show spoof, Drop Dead Gorgeous was a total dud. Audiences ignored it, critics panned it as stupid and mean-spirited. Which is true. But they failed to notice that it's also very, very funny. Overlooked and unjustly maligned, this flick is worth a second look.
The film follows a high school beauty pageant in the small town of Mt. Rose, Minnesota. Contestants include the fat girl looking for approval, the simple-minded/loose-hipped cheerleader, and the lesbian seeking a scholarship, all of them sporting accents thicker than a Minnesota milkshake (you betcha!). Things get ugly as the girls are picked off one by one via personal tragedies ranging from costume theft to arson to murder. Inevitably it all comes down to the trailer trash with a heart of gold and the vapid viper daughter of the pageant director. But it doesn't end at all like you expect.
The hokey premise is brought to deliciously tacky life by a stellar cast. Denise Richards, Kirstie Alley, Allison Janney, Brittany Murphy, Amy Adams (an Oscar nominee for Junebug) and Ellen Barkin in her only likable film role ever --- with all that B-list talent, how was this flick not a bigger deal? I remain perplexed. The talent contest portion of the film is worth the price of admission alone.
--- Eric Rezsnyak