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Madonna, Good Housekeeping Cover Girl (March 15, 2000)

Madonna_goodh_housekeepingWhen thinking of Madonna it's doubtful the word "mainstream" comes to mind.  Yet, there she was on the cover of the April 2000 issue of Good Housekeeping that hit newsstands in mid-March.  (To be honest, not a very flattering cover.)  Who knows the reason behind M's decision - it's not as if she were following in Linda Ronstadt's or Rod Stewart's footsteps and doing a CD of standards that needed to be promoted to Middle America (her CD Music came out later in the year).  However, for Good Housekeeping it was an attempt at reaching a younger reader, sending the message that "we're not your mother's Good Housekeeping". 


Madonna_and_family At the time Madonna had a 3-year old daughter, Lourdes, and was pregnant with British film director Guy Ritchie's child - a boy they named Rocco, born on August 11 (five days before his mother's birthday).  She and Ritchie would marry at the end of the year.  (She's since adopted two other children from Africa and divorced Ritchie in 2008.)



Madonn_britney_kiss Despite this cover, it didn't mean Madge had put her provocative ways behind her as three years later she caused a stir at the MTV Music Video Awards by French kissing Britney Spears on stage.  No word on whether her "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" was revoked.  


Previous posts I've written about Madonna's career:



Madonna & Rupert Everett Star in "The Next Best Thing" (March 3, 2000)

ThenxtbestthingWhen it comes to movies, Madonna has had her share of hits and misses.  For every Desperately Seeking Susan or A League of Their Own, there was a Shanghai Surprise or Who's That Girl.  Rupert Everett, on the other hand, appeared in a string of well-regarded films, including The Madness of King George; The Importance of Being Earnest; and An Ideal Husband.  And his best known role was as Julia Robert's gay best friend in 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding.  Many thought he deserved an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in that film but he was overlooked.  However, Everett's luck ran out when he co-starred with Madonna in The Next Best Thing.



Rupert_madonnaThe Next Best Thing, which opened in theaters on March 3, 2000.  In it Everett once again played a gay best friend, this time his name was Robert.  Robert and Madonna's character, Abby, have a baby together which they raise under the same roof.  However, when Madonna falls in love with a straight man (played by sexy Benjamin Bratt) she plans to marry him and take the child she had with Robert.  This results in an ugly custody case in which it's revealed that Robert (are you sitting?) wasn't the biological father after all





Bratt_scarsSo, how bad was the movie?  Madonna won a Razzie Award for Worst Actress (to sit next to her Golden Globe for Evita which she won three years earlier).  On a side note, there were a number of scenes in which Bratt's character was shirtless, revealing a number of peculiar raised scars on his nicely worked pecs.  There was speculation that these were tertiary nipples; others suggested they were the result of some sort of Native American piercing ritual (Bratt's mother is a Quecha Indian from Peru).  Bratt, however, declined comment.


John_schlessingerThis was the last film directed by openly gay, Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy).  It was said that difficulties he had with Madonna during filming contributed to a stroke he sufferrd after the film wrapped, which he never fully recovered from (he died in 2003).  However, in an interview in the Advocate Everett chivalrously took the blame, admitting that he pushed the 73-year old Schlesinger too hard in an effort to have the movie made the way Everett envisioned.



The movie's soundtrack CD has two songs by Madonna, an odd remake of American Pie (with Everett contributing background vocals) and the original ballad Time Stood Still.  Artists such as Moby, Groove Armada and Christina Aguilera also contributed songs.  The CD is better than the movie.


Stand-Out Covers From "The Advocate"



It goes without saying that The Advocate has been one of the primary vehicles to capture and report on the gay zeitgeist of the past few generations. The covers from the magazine that follow are from the past 25 years and were chosen based purely on my aesthetic sense and their pop culture value.



This cover story is from 1991, and it shows our 33-year-old Madonna at her lascivious best.  The issue hit newsstands shortly before her documentary Truth or Dare opened.





Eight years after the first TV movie about AIDS (An Early Frost), Philadelphia was the first mainstream movie to deal with the subject.  Hanks won the Oscar for Best Actor and gave a moving acceptance speech at the ceremony.  And the song Streets of Philadelphia got Bruce Springsteen an Oscar for Best Original Song.





No, this wasn't an ad for Absolut.  Rather, this BBC sitcom was a celebration of decadence and it came to our shores in 1994 via Comedy Central.  And AbFab's Patsy & Eddie became the patron saints of gay debauchery.





Everybody wanted a piece of Ricky in 1999 (figuratively and literally) as he appeared on the cover of most every mainstream magazine that year.  The Advocate jumped on the bandwagon as well, trying hard for a gay angle.  Ricky finally came out 10 years later.





Cozy domestic bliss is portrayed by this couple engaged in pillow talk on a 1998 cover.  A few years later the magazine published an article about the trend in couples introducing a third party into their relationship.  And in the past few years there has been a surfeit of articles depicting the joys of couples with children in tow.  Perhaps a cover story in the not too distant future will be titled "Monotony."





This 2006 cover captures a beautifully tender moment between Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis del Mar (the late Heath Ledger).  The movie pulled in mainstream audiences, and won Ang Lee an Oscar for Best Director (but Best Picture was not to be).





Before reading the cover story about him, I wasn't familiar with this adorable, openly gay Australian diver.  The issue hit newsstands a week before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and after reading it I was rewarded by seeing him win an unexpected gold medal.  And Matt got a second cover story the following year. 







From 2010, a lovely cover as well as an equally lovely profile of this "out" Tony Award winning, most famous for her role as heterosexual Miranda on Sex & the City.  A few years earlier an Advocate cover was given to the show's Kim Cattrall.