Paris Hilton | Oscar Parties | Billy Joel | Michael Moore

Paris Flick Not So 'Hottie'

Ah, Paris Hilton. We can’t seem to live without her. She can’t stop making money off of us. It’s a very American, symbiotic relationship.

On the public she’s foisted books (so-called), jewelry, TV shows and sex videos, and now she’s executive-produced a movie.

Paris threw a party at Sundance last month for "The Hottie and the Nottie," but knew better than to screen this 90-minute dud for audiences. That wasn’t the point, you see. It’s about branding.

In that realm, she is extremely clever. An actress, however, she is not. Neither is this a film nor a movie. It’s the kind of stultifying, passive entertainment best left to video or airplanes. Trust me, it’s going to both fast.

"The Hottie and the Nottie" is a classic ugly duckling story. Christine Lakin plays the uggo, June Phigg; the character must have been a makeup man’s dream. When we meet her, she could stop traffic in four directions. Paris’ Cristobel has kept her as a sidekick since grade school as a foil.

Cristobel is supposed to be the Hottie, the most beautiful girl ever, but as attractive as Paris is in real life, Cristobel’s charms are elusive. She is a lifeless object. She’s not just underdeveloped as a character, she’s barely breathing.

In short time, Cristobel’s clueless suitor — a grade-school crush played with stunning ineptitude by the goat-like Joel Moore — falls for Lakin’s June, who’s been made over by a Swedish Ken doll named Johan (long story) from head to toe.

Lakin’s Gidget-like pluckiness actually kind of saves things, although Paris — in a rare moment of animation and plausibility — has a nice scene at the end.

If only "The Hottie and the Nottie" were funny or campy or had some blood pumping through its veins. If anything, it’s so sincere it’s frightening. Paris should hook up with John Waters if she wants to make movies. At least she’d have a good time.

Vanity Fair Cancels Oscar Party

Vanity Fair magazine has called off its annual Oscar party — a shock even to the most jaded in Hollywood.

The magazine cited the current situation in Hollywood as the reason in a statement that read:

"After much consideration, and in support of the writers and everyone else affected by this strike, we have decided that this is not the appropriate year to hold our annual Oscar party. We want to congratulate all of this year’s nominees and we look forward to hosting our 15th Oscar party next year."

Ironically, the Writers Guild strike may actually be over by early next week, which means many people will go back to work very shortly. It also means no picket lines at the Academy Awards.

Vanity Fair isn't the first Oscar party canceled this year. Talent agent Ed Limato canceled his annual pre-party, as well. But that may have more to do with the economy and that Limato could not count on his new employer, William Morris Agency, to foot the bill.

Without the Vanity Fair party, Oscar-goers suddenly are set adrift. When the news starts spreading there should be rending of garments. Over the years, the studios have cut back on their own parties because all the stars went to this one. Watch for the Academy's Governors Ball, held right after the show, to become the new hottest ticket in town.

Billy Joel: Last Shea Stadium Concert

Billy Joel will announce on Thursday that he's playing the last concert at New York's Shea Stadium before the Mets vacate the place.

The concert will be held in July 2008. More details including whether it's a one-off show or the first of many are forthcoming.

Now if only Billy would give us a new album. His last one, "River of Dreams," was released during the first Clinton administration!

Where Have You Gone, Michael Moore?

Michael Moore hasn’t made much noise since his health doc, "Sicko," was nominated for an Oscar. "Sicko" remains the most resonant non-fiction film of the last year. If it wins the Academy Award it will bring the health care crisis to the forefront just as "An Inconvenient Truth" did for the environment. …

Tommy Hilfiger is engaged to be married. I can tell you here first that his fiancée is Dee Ocleppo, a stunning blonde and former model (of course) and a nice girl — I’ve met her a few times. The couple has been dating for two years. Tommy gets two boys to add to his own brood — and he’s already doting on them. Mucho congrats! The wedding will be in Mustique, I am told, for family, with a big September gala at the newly revitalized Plaza Hotel for their many friends and fans! ...

Sadly, I report the passing at age 49 of talented comedic actress and entrepreneur Shell Kepler, who played the very ditzy nurse Amy Vining on "General Hospital" for 20 years. (I think she was the sister of main character, Laura, of Luke and Laura.)

In addition to the soap she had a thriving business on QVC, selling cheap fun duds to her fans. I’m told that one day the soap just nudged her off camera without explanation, characteristic of that show. It’s too bad, and she was too young to go. ...