Your RDA of Irony

The Trendsetter

I was persecuting Anne Hathaway before it was fashionable!

From September, 2008…

 Magnifique Timing

The French are connoisseurs of scandal. How would Americans react to topless photos of Laura Bush? Mais les Francaises give an appreciative smile to the display of their First Lady and note that it is a French tradition. The Louvre has a gallery’s worth of bare-chested French queens. There is even a porcelain bust of Marie Antoinette’s bust; the guillotine was merely her second venture into the topless.

Nevertheless, the executives of Lancome Cosmetics could have wished a more discreet time to introduce their new perfume “Magnifique.” According to the hyperventilating advertisement:

“It’s the fragrance that celebrates her vibrant feminity, her joie de vivre. Infused with the spicy impertinence of saffron, the warmth of roses and smoky embrace of nagarmota wood. Audacious. Passionate. Utterly Magnifique.”

On second thought, Lancome should have named the perfume “L’Embezzelle.” That is the scent emanating actress Anne Hathaway, Lancome’s symbol of its new product, and the girlfriend of convicted embezzler Raffaello Follieri.

Follieri claimed to be the chief financial officer of the Vatican, coaxing millions from the easily impressed. Perhaps he was offering time-shares for the Sistine Chapel. The self-proclaimed financier collected millions as well as the affection of the Hollywood starlet. She moved into his $37,000 a month New York apartment. Unfortunately for his investors, he was not robbing St. Peter to pay Paul. Follieri has admitted to 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money-laundering. He faces a prison sentence of 4 to 5 years; it is unlikely that Ms. Hathaway will volunteer to share his cell.

The actress has suffered the indignity of this bad publicity, but she denies any knowledge of Follieri’s chicanery. In law, this is referred to as the “stupid slut defense”. Ms. Hathaway is reported to be cooperating with the FBI–does she have a choice–and has turned over all of the jewelry that Mr. Follieri gave her. And, yes, she has also broken up with him.

Nonetheless, I feel that Lancome might have created a more appropriate ad for Ms. Hathaway:

“It celebrates your infinite gullibility and your irrepressible vacuity. The tropic allure of an off-shore bank, the oaken splendor of a juryroom, and the tantalizing bouquet of a plea bargain. It is all your senses but common. Shamelessly yours! L’Embezzelle!”

  1. Peg Pruitt says:

    Magnifique, mon ami!

  2. Now you’ve gone too far, Monsieur Finerman. I love Anne Hathaway and think she is a fabulous actress and singer. Did you see her in “Les Miserables.” That is what you are if you diss her. She has long moved on from Signor Follieri — did you not know she is newly married. Follieri was a bad seed in her past — she was young and innocent. Please refrain from slandering her again or you shall be sent to the Starks guillotine! 🙁

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      You will note that I was persecuting her five years ago, long before it became soooo fashionable. And I really don’t understand why it now is the vogue. There are actresses far more annoying. I remember when Emma Thompson fancied herself an adorable ingenue. She must have confused smugness with pulchritude. (And, yes, Ms. Thompson would know the meaning of pulchritude; as she would repeatedly tell you, she went to Cambridge.)


      • Ah, Eugene — now I see by the date on your diss of Annie that it was in the long-ago past — still unforgivable but understandable that you did not know her newly married state and browbeat her for long-ago
        relationships. You shall be spared the Starks guillotine, but not her disdain, which is formidable, as in fore-mee-dah-ble, as my French friends like to say. A bien tot, monsieur. 🙂

  3. Patty says:

    You so are the ringleader on this my friend. I personally find it hard to put a finger on what remains so very irritating about Hathaway even years after her flirt with gallon size scandal with the financier. It just seems like she thinks there is no end to her own grace and beauty and taste. The roles she has played all grate like fingernails, n’est pas? Exit, reinvent, come back with some small measure of humility, lose the theatrical pretense and try a small, exciting completely rad role of an unforgiveable and impossible to respect loser in an indie – a character sketch, anything but bringing to the stage and screen and every interview the “accomplished and polished you” that you love. Think like Jeff Bridges not dame wannabe. That’s my PR advisor self speaking. I mean really, those darts were hilarious.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      My remorseless Patty,

      I think of myself as more the prophet than the ringleader. Miss Hathaway wants to be talented, but earnest and buxom may not be quite enough. She gave the worst performance in “The Devil Wears Prada”: too wooden and gentile. (She wasn’t supposed to be either.) By contrast, there was Emily Blunt who is lovely and funny.

      Here was another of my musings on Ms. Hathaway’s dramatic efforts.

      Nonetheless, even I find “the Hate Hathaway” fashion an over-reaction. It is Jodie Foster who wants to be Mel Gibson’s Eva Braun. No, Miss Hathaway means well–she is just not convincingly so.


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