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"If the sky above you / Should turn dark and full of clouds," James Taylor once crooned so gently, "...You've got a friend." Timely words for movie folks in Malibu, already on edge over a writers' strike that looks increasingly inevitable, whose mansions are now being threatened by one of the dozens of wildfires currently blazing in Southern California; Sean Penn's already been burned, while Mel Gibson, Jennifer Aniston, and Dreamworks exec Jeffrey Katzenberg are among the many whose properties were under siege, and the patients at Promises, the celebrity rehab facility which Lindsay and Britney have made so famous lately, have also been evacuated. Katzenberg's partner in crime David Geffen responded to the conflagration by offering the equivalent of a group hug, opening his home—well, actually, his Malibu Beach Inn—to beleaguered evacuees and emergency personnel.
Yes indeed, it was a week of friendship, teamwork, and fond memories. Hollywood legend Deborah Kerr, famed for her seaside smooch of Burt Lancaster in From Here To Eternity, passed away at 86, while legendary "son of a gun" Joey Bishop, the last surviving member of the Rat Pack, died at 89. But while the Rat Pack may be gone, the Frat Pack is in full effect; see this pointedly awkward announcement that Judd Apatow, the twisted mind behind Knocked Up and Superbad, has joined forces with the killer comedy team of Will Ferrell and Adam McCay on video website Funny or Die.
Speaking of creative collaborations, BFFs Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio announced their fourth screen partnership, a film version of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, which marks the third recent screen adaptation for the crime writer who penned Mystic River and the current Gone Baby Gone. Quirky director Spike Jonze and quirky author Dave Eggers might have a good thing going too; the script to their adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic Where the Wild Things Are got out and was pronounced "really, really good." Stoner buddies Harold and Kumar are reportedly teaming up for a second round of pot-induced antics, which sees them winding up in Guantanamo Bay; Neil Patrick Harris will join the fun again, apparently astride a white unicorn. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling brought master wizard Dumbledore out of the closet and hard-to-swallow rumors circulated of a Brokeback Mountain sequel in which America's favorite gay cowboy comes out, which can lead one to imagine some pretty strange scenarios.
But few things could be stranger than Sir Ben Kingsley's tongue-in-cheek pronouncement that he deeply admires Britney Spears; the legendary actor described her as something akin to a spiritual guide, claiming that her latest single "Gimme More" starts his day. And Christopher Walken was finding out what real support looked like as he auditioned butt doubles for a tush-revealing scene in his upcoming film Five Dollars a Day. Apparently, friendship comes in many shapes and sizes.