This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
- Still angry about the Oscars!
- Bridesmaids turns 10, as does my Rose Byrne obsession.
- The Gwyneth Paltrow nightmare GOOP cruise.
- The week’s best demonic, possibly haunted puppy.
- Britney makes a sandwich.
Where Is Rose Byrne’s Oscar?
When I think of Bridesmaids, a perfect movie in every way that I have watched probably 37 times (during this pandemic), there are certain scenes that immediately flash through my mind, like a visceral montage that has imprinted into my brain, or maybe even my soul.
The airplane sequence when Kristen Wiig tries to infiltrate first class while on a sedative, mistakenly calling Steve the flight attendant “Stove,” and claiming discrimination when she’s kicked out: “This is the ’90s!” The way she says “fresh” when given a glass of lemonade by a butler, now a reflexive, insufferable impulse I must recreate whenever served a glass of lemonade. The heart-to-heart she has with Melissa McCarthy after her breakdown. Her and Maya Rudolph miming the drum solo when Wilson Phillips performs “Hold On” during the finale.
But on this 10th anniversary of Bridesmaids—make sure to check out my colleague Matt Wilstein’s interview with director Paul Feig about the milestone—what has preoccupied me the most, and perhaps has since I first fell in love with the comedy a decade ago, is how unbelievably, underappreciatedly, iconically good Rose Byrne is in the movie.
If we talked about it once an hour every day since the movie came out, it would not be enough. She should have been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress that year alongside—or maybe instead of?—McCarthy, one of two nods she should have by now in that category. (The other is for playing the villain in Spy, a toast to which I could never write for fear of it earning her character’s eviscerating insult, one of the funniest line deliveries I’ve ever seen. Watch here.)
As Helen, Byrne plays the regal bitch, the film’s snooty antagonist, but someone you never hate. That’s of course owed to how funny the performance is. But it’s also owed to how subtly she portrays Helen’s confidence as a shield that’s been erected piece by piece through a lifetime of insecurity.
It’s hard to even choose Byrne’s standout scene. Is it when she goes bout by comedic bout with Wiig—no small feat—during the wedding toast scene, a TKO delivered while speaking perfect Thai? Her pronunciation of “Fritz Bernaise” in the dress shopping scene, as if it’s as natural to say as “Calvin Klein” or “Target?” Or when she smiles through tears during an emotional breakdown, admitting that she’s not even ugly when she cries?
It was a revelatory performance from an actress probably best known for her dramatic work in Damages—she became the MVP of the movie’s comedic ensemble of Saturday Night Live and Groundlings improv vets. Now that Bridesmaids is 10, we can officially call it one of the best performances of the last decade.
And, because the fire never stops Byrne-ing (Too cheesy? We don’t care), here is a trailer for her next project, a TV series called Physical in which she plays a bored ’80s housewife whose life changes when she discovers aerobics. I could not have invented something I want to see more if I had tried.
Well, GOOP Does Rhyme With Poop
Gwyneth Paltrow is always happiest when by the sea, and she can’t wait to share that love with you in the same way she absolutely, definitely, 100-percent travels when she hits the water: on a cruise ship. Yes, in 2022, Paltrow’s GOOP company is partnering with Celebrity Cruises on a brand-integrated travel experience.
After this past year, especially, if there’s one thing I think of when I think of wellness and health, it is a cruise ship. Listen, all industries are struggling, and if Gwyneth is trying to help jumpstart the cruise business, who am I to poo-poo it? (Well, if I take this cruise, I will be the one to poo poo.)
Perhaps GOOP sees an opportunity in the #HotVaxxSummer market and is shrewdly taking advantage. The ship might peddle an exclusive two-for-one offer: A jade vagina egg and a corresponding one to plug up your bum when you inevitably contract norovirus. We love a matching set!
In a rare turn of events, “good news” went viral this week. That is literally how the tweet from NPR started, a sentence in which every next word was more remarkable than the one before it, a reading journey as dramatic and thrilling as The Odyssey itself.
“Good news,” the tweet read. “Prancer, the 13-pound gremlin Chihuahua who hates men and children, and was described as a ‘vessel for a traumatized Victorian child,’ has been adopted by a 36-year-old single lesbian in Connecticut.”
The important context is that earlier this month, a volunteer frustrated at her fruitless attempts to get Prancer, “a Chucky doll in a dog’s body,” adopted posted an unusually frank ad that detailed all of his terrorizing ways. That post itself earned Prancer a little bit of internet fame, catching the attention of his now-owner, who felt she and he might make a good match.
It’s a heartwarming story, really: There is someone out there to love even the most tragic of us. That first viral ad from the rescue volunteer said, “Prancer came to me obese, wearing a cashmere sweater, with a bacon, egg, and cheese stuffed in his crate with him,” which is coincidentally exactly how I arrived at my new apartment when I moved this winter. That is to say: Prancer, I see you. Now who will adopt me?
Two very dramatic Britney Spears developments: In the wake of the #FreeBritney movement, she has asked to address the court directly about her conservatorship. She also made a sandwich, and it was completely unsettling. (Watch here.)
Pose: The category is: Live! Werk! Cry along to the final season of Pose! (Sunday on FX)
The Mitchells vs. the Machines: Conversely, cry along to this animated kids’ film! (Friday on Netflix)
Girls5eva: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt meets Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. (Thursday on Peacock)
The Mosquito Coast: Nary a mosquito in sight. (Friday on Apple TV+)
Without Remorse: Michael B. Jordan deserves better. (Friday on Amazon)