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Romeo San Vicente | February 21, 2005

Lily Tomlin Lily's Little House on the Prairie

Romeo thinks the best moment to make the film version of something is when the adapted intellectual property in question is long past its initial burst of popularity. It's just less forced and marketing-team-driven that way. Robert Altman must agree, because finally, years after its 1980s moment in the pop-culture sun, Garrison Keillor's still-running public radio program, A Prairie Home Companion, is making its way to the big screen. And rather than visit the townspeople of Keillor's Lake Wobegon, the film is a fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the production of the show. Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep (word is, they play a pair of singing sisters) will star alongside singer/actors Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett, and SNL's Maya Rudolph, not to mention crooning host Keillor himself. The show's gentle humor should hit screens sometime in 2006, which is no wait at all for patient Midwesterners.



George Michael Wham! It's a George Michael Movie!

The pop star that no one bothered to notice was gay – even after that "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" video – is now the subject of a no-holds-barred documentary. The film is called George Michael: A Different Story, and it stars the iconic '80s heartthrob as tour guide to his own career. Already seen on British television, the movie recently hit the big screen at the Berlin Film Festival and should be making the festival rounds in the States soon enough. In the film, Michael visits childhood haunts, talks for the first time about his family, and touches on painful recent memories as well (his partner was gravely ill with AIDS while Michael performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert). The testimonial line-up includes Sir Elton John, Boy George, Mariah Carey, and Simon Cowell. And Wham!-obsessives will be thrilled to know that Michael is reunited on-camera with former singing partner Andrew Ridgely for the first time in nearly 20 years.



Eddie Izzard Izzard Tries on New Outfits

It's getting so you barely see the man in drag anymore. Not that cross-dressing comedian Eddie Izzard's complaining. It's just that his mainstream acting career, the one that more often than not puts him in guy clothes, is taking off like never before. The hilarious Brit has just been tapped to star in an as-yet-untitled pilot for cable channel FX, in which he'll play an Irish con man who relocates to the American South. If it goes to series, he'll have to find a way to fit in his other planned roles, like in Macbeth on Broadway. Meanwhile, fans can see him soon in John Turturro's upcoming musical, Romance & Cigarettes, which co-stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Elaine Stritch, Bobby Cannavale, and Amy Sedaris. Looks like those Manolos will just have to cool their heels for a while.



Queen Latifah Latifah's Career Is Stranger Than Fiction

Is Queen Latifah on the same path to Oscar as Halle Berry? The former rapper and lesbian fave has Marc Forster, the director of critically acclaimed films like Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball, in her corner these days, so anything's possible. Latifah has signed on to co-star in Forster's latest film, Stranger Than Fiction, alongside Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Emma Thompson. It's the story of an IRS auditor who begins hearing the narration of his life – a running commentary audible only to him, and one that begins to affect everything he does. No word on Latifah's role in the film, but if Finding Neverland takes home its share of Academy Awards, then expect the buzz around her and the film to grow louder as the year goes on.

  • Romeo San Vicente hopes and prays that Wham! backup girls, Pepsi and Shirley, pop up in George's movie.


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