Cinema: Tom Terrific

The film of the year. A perky new comedy. These are high times for our most versatile star

Decades ago, Alfred Hitchcock said actors were cattle. Today celebrities are meat: junk food for tabloid headlines, canapes for cocktail-party surmise, fodder for Leno and Letterman raillery. Are the charges, whispers and gags true? Hardly matters; they need only be entertaining. Star tattle proceeds from two American impulses: cynicism and sentimentality. Sentimentally we imagine that a popular artist must have hidden depths. Cynically we suspect that every star must have a guilty secret; all that power, money and spare time allow them to act out any sick whim. Gossip has become the purest form of show biz, a story that can...

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