2003 was a year of defining moments in TV and movies

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Believe it or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually got elected California governor by promising to "Terminate" this-or-that, gossip wags fused Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez into one person and "The Matrix" sequels became too geeky for the geeks. Here's one take on Hollywood's dubious moments of 2003:

Bennifer: "Gigli" and the incessant non-wedding coverage proved that the romance between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez is like a bottle of fine champagne ... Nobody wants to be beaten over the head with it.

Cat Scat: Mike Myers sneers "Dirty hoe" at a gardening tool and spells out dirty words as the fright-faced feline in "The Cat in the Hat." Dr. Seuss' dying wish must have been for Hollywood to add sleaze to his life's work.

Baby Got (I'll Be) Back: In the face of groping allegations, candidate Schwarzenegger acknowledged that he "behaved badly" and apologized. So much for political glad-handing.

Ebert & Pontiff: Pope John Paul II gave a positive review to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," saying it was a faithful adaptation of the Gospels. Could "Gigli" be next?

Matrix Moping: How much sunglasses-at-night brooding can you take? Even the geeks gave up, resulting in diminishing box-office returns. As the characters huddled together in their black cloaks, making sci-fi plans, you almost expected somebody's mom to open the basement door and holler down to ask if anyone wants a grilled cheese sandwich.

"Boo" Ya!: In the most talked-about awards speech of the year, "Bowling for Columbine" filmmaker Michael Moore lambasted President Bush at the Oscars. Bad taste? Maybe. But no one ever accused conservative gabber Ann Coulter of being "Miss Manners" either.

Tiny fish, big money: "Finding Nemo" overtook the box office like a tidal wave, as the little orange clownfish toppled "The Matrix Reloaded" to become the No. 1 movie of the year. Then "Pirates of the Caribbean" put another boot on "Reloaded" and stepped up to No. 2.

Now THAT'S reality TV!: A few weeks before sexy socialite Paris Hilton revealed she was a doofus on "The Simple Life" for not knowing what Wal-Mart is, she acted shocked -- shocked! -- that her homemade sex tape made it to the Internet. Then she went on "Saturday Night Live" to joke about it. Her demure reaction was the only thing this year faker than "The Hulk."

Gipper Dearest: CBS dumped the bio-pic "The Reagans" after some complained that it distorted the legacy of former President Reagan and his wife, Nancy. CBS honcho Les Moonves said he thought he had bought "a love story." Across town, the makers of the flop romance "Alex & Emma" wondered whether adding politics to their film would make anybody care about it.

"Coupling" canceled: NBC's allegedly "saucy" sitcom about sex didn't quite, you know ... get you there. But that happens to a lot of sitcoms, we swear.

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