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Love For Sale
by Lance Norris

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People Magazine reported last week that Angelina Jolie has adopted an Ethiopian baby girl to go a long with her adopted three year-old Cambodian son Maddox. According to the magazine, Maddox is the reason Jolie has extended her family. As she says, "He is in love with Africa, so he has been asking for an African brother or sister". Isn't that cute?

My six year-old son loves Super Mario Brothers, but I don't think we will be adopting any Italian organ grinders anytime soon. However, my 13 year-old daughter is a big fan of Destiny's Child, so maybe we could work out some kind of foster program with Beyonce. But I digress...

Adopting an accessory child is all the rage in Hollywood these days. Actually, it has been for a while. Who can forget MOMMY, DEAREST? That little dime dropper Christina was 'off the shelf', as they say. Don't think Michelle Pfeiffer forgot about that when she adopted baby Claudia Rose, or when Calista Flockhart adopted little Liam. I'll bet they put their little palm and foot prints on little, tiny confidentiality agreements, like the rest of the help.

Of course, I'm not say these women don't love these children. They love the way they can pose with them as a doting mother in the pages of People Magazine. But take the case of Diane Keaton: once Hollywood's sweetheart, now so desperate for movie roles and our love and attention that she's back to doing nude scenes. At age 50 she bought the love of three kids: Dexter, Dean and Duke. I'm guessing she just had a shit load of things monogrammed "DK" and didn't want them going to waste.

Another one of Woody Allen's girlfriends, Mia Farrow, is putting together her own little UN; or at the very least a Special Olympics Softball Team. She has, in addition to four birth children, 10 accessory kids collected from all corners of the globe and with a range of disabilities. A Vietnamese war orphan with asthma, Isaiah, the crack-addicted baby; 12- year-old blind Tam; Gabriel, a paraplegic; and Thaddeus, a polio victim who, like all good polio victims, had been abandoned in a Calcutta railway station. In 1979 I stubbed my toe out in front of the Dakota apartments in New York where she lives, and she tried to take me in as well.

Hey, I'm all for adoption if the kid is placed with a good family, (man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, stable single parent), but take away the vestiges of Hollywood and when Jolie adopted Maddox she was in a rocky marriage to an admitted drug addict (Billy Bob Thornton). She was wife number five for him, she herself had just been divorced and she had a job that required her to flit around the globe. Selma Mae in Crib Death, Iowa isn't going to get a kid with the same resume, but somehow, Jolie is an actress so that makes it ok.

This new hire, the Ethiopian to be named later, (she just signed on), comes into Jolie's life after she's been divorced a second time and has caused the well documented break-up of another marriage. Plus she's got really big, freaky lips and was I the only one that thought she was a little too touchy feely with her brother at the Oscars in 2000? Sure, it beats the hell out of Ethiopia, but that kid is going rethink eating bugs when mommy sticks her with Louise Woodward for six months while she's off shooting "Laura Croft and the Temple of Collagen".

I watched Nicole Kidman on a rerun of David Letterman the other night. She is a brilliant actress that has made a few bad choices, (BEWITCHED and marrying Tom Cruise come to mind). But after watching her on Letterman, I was struck by the fact that she, when not acting, is a complete moron. I mean totally empty headed-devoid of thought-couldn't rub two ideas together to save her life-let's watch a reality show on Fox, kind of stupid. She is also a mother. She and Tom Cruise adopted a couple kids before they split sheets five years ago.

There are a lot of great actors out there. There are scant few Movie Stars. Sometimes, like in the case of Kidman, a great actress becomes a Movie Star. More often, as with the Oscar winning Jolie, acting isn't really a priority. But to be a Movie Star you have to want it more than anything else in the world. It's like catching lightning in a bottle. Kate Bosworth will never be a great Movie Star because she backed into this gig. She was pretty and riding her horse at the right place during the right time. Jolie will always be a Movie Star because she knows how to open a movie in the eye of a scandal.

To be a Movie Star you have to make sacrifices. You don't get to have normal relationships with old friends and lovers. You have hangers-on and 'people'. You don't get married and settle down, (no matter how much Renee Zellweger lies to herself), it ain't going to happen. But that's ok. They find their love from us, those eyes glued on the big screen, the pages of the tabloids and the silly "behind the scenes" TV shows... Oh yeah, and they can pick up a kid or two from some third world nation and have the nanny bring them around anytime they need a good cuddle

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.

Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns

Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.

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