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June 2011

Matthew McConaughey for Dolce & Gabbana: The Least Sexy Ad of the Year?


In addition to the Oscars, Hollywood also has the Razzies, which honor the worst movies and performances of the year.  Perhaps a similar award can be handed out to ad agencies that create magazine ads that try to exude sex ap. peal but don't pull it off. 


What brought this to mind is and ad I had seen a number of times (in 2011) in the New Yorker for Dolce & Gabbana's men's fragrance, "The One Gentleman".  Featuring actor Matthew McConaughey, it drew my attention, but for all the wrong reasons.  He's shown reclining with his shirt wide open, exposing an oddly smooth, airbrushed chest that has little definition.  It appears more like the flat chest of a young girl than that of a Lothario.  




This execution is particularly surprising coming from D&G, which has a reputation for some of the hottest campaigns around, particularly those using Italian soccer and rugby players.  (To be fair, the other ads in the McConaughey campaign aren't quite as cringe-worthy.)




When I see the McConaughey ad, I think of guys who pour on their cologne so thickly you can smell them many feet away.  They're probably the same guys who are in the market for a Donald Trump suit.  Who knows, perhaps this is who D&G is trying to attract.  If it is, they're not going to reach them by advertising in the New Yorker.




2011 Tony Awards - Still Mostly for "The Gays"




Despite the 65th Tony Award's delightful opening number - "Broadway - it's not for Gays Anymore!" - this TV special still remains the special province of gays, even more so than the Academy Awards.  The Tonys have never been gayer, with overt references, gay-themed jokes and the easy mention of same-sex partners in acceptance speeches.  How refreshing is that?


  • As fine as Sutton Foster's rendition was, I'm still partial to Patti LuPone's sassy performance of Anything Goes from the 1988 Tonys telecast.  I was somewhat surprised the musical's producers didn't choose to do a different number from the show this time around, perhaps Blow Gabriel Blow.







  • Besides the Neil Patrick Harris' dazzling opening I thought the other great numbers were from How to Succeed in Business, Catch Me If You Can, and The Book of Mormon.






  • I got a kick out of Christie Brinkley in her Vanna White-like gown and the wide-eyed enthusiasm she showed.  (At first I thought she was on stage to announce the night's lottery numbers!)  She sort of had a Connie-Stevens-from-the-early 1960s look going on.




  • The acceptance speeches by Ellen Barkin, Frances McDormand, and Sutton Foster were all wonderfully heartfelt.  However, as terrific as McDormand's speech was, her "outfit" was by far the worst of the night's award winners.  (Whoopie Goldberg's was the worst dressed of the night's presenters.)   It looked like she had been ready for bed, remembered she needed milk, threw on a jacket over her nightgown and ran to the store, and on the way home decided to drop in on the Tonys. 






  • Mark Relyance's win for Best Actor in a Play for Jerusalem was the closet the night had to an upset.  Like his acceptance speech three years ago for Boeing, Boeing, this year's was equally head-scratching.





  • Although uncharacteristically low-key, Larry Kramer's brief acceptance speech for The Normal Heart winning Best Revival of a Play, was, nonetheless, touching and passionate.  (It was amusing that he came across as a kindly, avuncular sort.)  I'm glad the show's "timekeepers" allowed him a few extra minutes.




  • Wearing a sparkly black shirt, Book of Mormon co-creator Trey Parker was one of the gayest looking men in the audience.  And he also seemed to be one of the most excited of the night's winners. 




  • Props to Brooke Shields for displaying such poise and grace during her multiple flubs on live TV.   




  • I was surprised that Norman Leo Butz seemed to mention everyone under the sun, but Catch Me If You Can's dashing young star Aaron Tveit.  However, two nights later he emotionally rectified this oversight during the curtain call at the end of Catch Me if You Can's performance.




  • Finally, I got a lascivious chuckle when during their duet Neil Patrick Harris sang to Hugh Jackman, "If I'm the bottom, then you're the top".  




It's shows such as this and the Kennedy Center Honors that brings to mind CBS's old reputation as the "Tiffany Network".  Kudos to the network for its continued support of the Tonys, a show for the few million of us with sophisticated tastes.  (In addition to this recap I've also published recaps for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 telecasts.)