Madonna: "Flat as a flounder"

Material Girl chews scenery in London stage debut; Swank, Witherspoon get career wanderlust; Chris Rock pans Giuliani. Plus: World's sexiest woman? J.

By Amy Reiter
May 29, 2002 1:56AM (UTC)
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Here's who didn't like Madonna's opening-night performance in the West End production of "Up for Grabs": pretty much all the critics.

Here's who did: her own mother-in-law ... and Sting.

The London Express said the Material Girl was "flat as a flounder," the Mirror thought she "looked terrified," and even her buddies at the U.K. Sun had to admit that she was "no Robert De Niro."


The Mail concluded that, as an actress, Madonna "has no vocal or physical technique," the Guardian deemed her "technically awkward," the Times said her performance was "pale, wan, lacking in color," and the Independent redubbed her the "Mechanical Girl."

Nevertheless, Sting loyally told reporters that his dear friend "was wonderful" in her role as a grabby art dealer.

And Material Mother-in-Law Shireen Ritchie gushed, "I thought she was great."


You know you're in trouble when your mother-in-law is your biggest fan.

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Everyone's a critic

"Some of the acting was quite banal."

-- Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the first three "Star Wars" films, assessing "Attack of the Clones," in the San Francisco Examiner.


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If only ...

They may have the sort of career little girls dream of, but both Hilary Swank and Reese Witherspoon secretly harbor fantasies of their own.

Swank says she longs to hang with the acrobats and clowns.

"If I wasn't married, I would be quitting acting for a year and join the circus," she tells


And Witherspoon would like to peek in your ears and test your reflexes.

"If I ever get burned out on Hollywood," the actress says, "I'll go to medical school."

Open up and say "ah ... "

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Don't give Bloomberg any ideas

"If Rudy Giuliani hadn't left office, he was gonna do something crazy eventually. That's just him -- he's crazy. He would've had a dust tax on all the dusty buildings or something."


-- Chris Rock on why 9/11 didn't make him a fan of Rudy Giuliani, in GQ.

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Juicy bits

It's hard to believe that there are that many people out there clamoring for a "Beetlejuice" sequel, but Michael Keaton's ready to give it to them nevertheless. The actor tells that he's discussed the idea with Tim Burton, who directed the first one, and is awaiting a green light from Warner Bros.


At this point, Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione might not agree, but the readers of FHM magazine have selected Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova as the sexiest woman in the world. Kournikova beat out Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez, among others, for the honor. Now don't go arguing with the line judge.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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