Today

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.



Sara Gilbert and her wife Linda Perry welcomed a baby boy named Rhodes over the weekend, her “The Talk” co-host Julie Chen revealed on the show today!

I am not a film critic, not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I an expert on BDSM. Although after seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, I kinda want to be…

And I haven’t read the book, so any comparisons, for better or worse, are lost on me. Sorry, but any book review that starts with “The writing was awful but…” not only turns me off, it pisses me off. We writers work WAY too hard to get published.

True, it wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve ever seen — no Oscar buzz for this one, I’m afraid. But honestly, you could say that about most beloved movies. I don’t remember Wedding Crashers threatening an Academy Awards appearance, but I love that movie. “Make me a bicycle, clown!” Still makes me laugh. Every time.

And whether you liked the sex scenes or felt cheated by the build up, it’s gotten people talking and thinking about sex in unconventional ways. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is a good thing. Anything that happens between two consenting adults is between those two adults. We need more sex, love and passion in the world — and less judgment about it.

Truthfully, I thought the story was intriguing and the sex scenes were hot. I only wish I’d seen it with a date instead of the room full of giddy, slightly tipsy middle-aged women who rented out the theater for a private showing. That seemed a bit counterintuitive to me, knowing as I did only the film’s subject matter.

“When should I show up?” joked a single guy I know.

“If you’re smart, you and about 50 of your friends should be there when it’s over,” I suggested.

But what I loved the most about the movie was Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia. She kicked ass.

She may have been the “sub” to Christian’s “dom,” but there was no doubt that Anastasia (Ana) was running the show from the moment Christian set eyes on her.

Even though her mutual attraction to him was apparent, she didn’t turn into a weak, sit-by-the-phone-and-hope-he-calls kind of girl. She lived her life and let him pursue her, which is so rare in today’s Hollywood movies and “Bachelor”-chasing reality television.

Public service announcement: Please stop watching that drivel. A house full of women competing for one man’s attention has seriously set us back to the Victorian age. It’s embarrassing. Find a better guilty pleasure.

As young and innocent as Ana was, she also had some pretty healthy boundaries:

She owned her feelings and her body.

She never allowed anything that made her feel ‘less than.’

She made him earn her — on her terms.

And, the moment she felt mistreated, she walked away.

Bravo.

As far as I’m concerned, we need more role models like Ana for our daughters and nieces to emulate. And fewer damsels in distress.

As a single woman who writes about dating and sex, I talk to a lot of men about their thoughts and methods of dating. And as different as they all are (young, divorced, widowed), they all have one thing in common: They are all totally confused about what women want.

“I’d love to take you out sometime,” said Ken, a romantic and handsome widower I recently met. “So… why don’t you think about it and get back to me, let me know when you’re free…” he asked.

I sighed, and was immediately turned off.

“Please don’t do that,” I said. “I know you know better. If you want to see me, pick a day and ask me out. If I’m busy or not interested, I’ll let you know. But don’t put that ball in my court.”

“Thank you, so much!” his response surprised me. “I’ve been trying to adjust to today’s dating game, and I never know what to do,” he admitted.

How sad is that? Here is a perfect gentleman, who is quite the catch for the right woman, and he is doubting himself as a man because of the mixed messages in today’s media and society.

As disappointed as I was, I wasn’t surprised. I fell in love with the now-defunct Showtime series “Sleeper Cell” last year, and have slowly been rationing the last few DVDs. Michael Ealy is seriously one of the most underrated actors out there. But I was kinda shocked by the two female love interests in the first season. Both made all of the first moves, and coerced their soon-to-be boyfriends into sex and a relationship. Which really made me think: Is it possible that Hollywood has ruined dating? Think about it for a second. If every modern movie and TV show out there shows aggressive women taking all the risks and boldly doing the asking out, my smiling at a guy I find attractive across the bar will no longer be enough. Unless I approach him, stuff my number in his crotch and suggest a night he’ll never forget, he doesn’t think I’m interested. And that’s really sad. Because I am.

Most of my single girlfriends feel the same as I do: They want to be pursued. Not that we CAN’T be in charge; we just don’t want to be. We do it all day long, with our careers and kids. We want, we NEED, to be “the girl” in our romantic life. And yes, some of us (the strongest of us, probably) love the idea of being dominated. Not hurt, but taken by someone we desire.

The sexual revolution wasn’t intended to reverse the roles men and women play, or to make women be more like men. It was intended to give us more options. To allow us to work, stay home, and have sex if and when we want to.

“This is the emotional journey of someone who doesn’t seem as strong as she becomes.”

~ “Fifty Shades of Grey” Director, Sam Taylor Johnson
Time Magazine “The Grey Area”

It takes a truly strong woman to let go, on her terms. And that’s exactly what Anastasia does. But regardless of their contract (which she edits and never signs), Ana is still the one in control. And not just in the ‘stripper in a club’ way. When she’s bothered that Christian won’t sleep in the same bed with her, she questions it. When he texts her that he is on his way to meet a woman from his past, she pulls back and doesn’t answer his phone call. Yes, it’s still Hollywood, and a bit unrealistic that a guy would fly his private helicopter to find out why you didn’t answer the phone. But I loved it. And I definitely didn’t find it stalkerish. The point was made: she was in control.

Once she knew what she was dealing with, she seemed to have no problem letting Christian know what her boundaries were, and what she wanted in return: love and romance. Quite frankly, they seemed to have better communication than I had in my last relationship.

And I totally disagree with the suggestions that the film glorifies rape. She never says no. In fact, I thought the screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, did an excellent job making it clear that Christian respected Ana’s comfort zone and boundaries.

Up until she ASKS him to show her how bad it gets, the way he “hits” her seemed erotic, not violent. Once it crosses that line, she leaves. And she’s sober the entire time with Christian, unlike much of today’s college coeds who leave themselves way too vulnerable for my comfort zone. Again – totally healthy behavior.

As Richard Brody writes in The New Yorker, Fifty Shades of Grey “isn’t a joke, and it isn’t complete junk. The movie is far from a masterwork, but the glossy fantasies of Fifty Shades deliver something altogether significant, substantial, and welcome.”

Yeah – a strong, self-respecting woman who isn’t afraid to use her power to find love, ask for what she wants, and walk away when it goes wrong. Long live Anastasia.

A dress that was worn by actress Lupita Nyong’o at the Academy Awards and later stolen from her hotel room, rumored to be made of 6,000 pearls and worth $150,000, was revealed to be a knockoff after the thieves took two of the pearls to be appraised…



If you already finished binge-watching “House of Cards” this weekend and have consumed nearly all the available data on it, here’s one more item to consider: “House of Cards” as a lighthearted, aw-shucks sitcom paired perfectly with the feel-good, upbeat theme song.

The only thing missing is Frank Underwood bobbling some dishes, before turning to the camera to deliver a hearty sigh.

If you’ve always dreamt of meeting your future spouse in your favorite aisle of the grocery store instead of by swiping right on Tinder, this short film is for you.

“Letters to Manhattan (A Whole Foods Love Story)” was created by Jonah Feingold, a writer and director of several rom-com short films. He says after college, he spent a lot of time thinking about how great it would be to meet a girl at Whole Foods and fall in love.

“I had just graduated college, and was going through this quarter life crisis of sorts, second guessing if I should be doing what I was doing, fearful of the future — you know, all that stuff — and taking a trip to Whole Foods every Sunday was just a constant,” he told The Huffington Post. “I’ve always had this semi-joking romanticized story in my head where I lock eyes with the girl in the Tate’s Cookies aisle and we both just know it’s meant to be.”

Don’t be deceived, though: the woman in the video isn’t Feingold’s real-life partner. She’s his “Whole Foods Wife,” and she’s an actress named Sadie Friedman.

“I know her from New York, and whether it actually comes off or not, it was important to have someone with a strong East Coast aesthetic,” Feingold explained. “I am hopeful, though, that there are people out there who have met their girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands at a Whole Foods!”

Who’s ready for a trip to the grocery?

H/T Right This Minute

Madonna has reigned supreme over award shows since first rolling around at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, and now she has some advice for Kanye West: calm down.

“Don’t go to awards shows looking for justice,” Madonna said in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “That’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Just go and have fun. I never got too engaged with who wins awards or not, because I don’t honestly think it’s that important. So that part of him I can’t relate to. Like, what’s the point of fighting for somebody to … like, ‘This person should have got it?’… I think sometimes he takes things too seriously.”

West taking things too seriously may have led to outbursts at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where West stormed the stage to say that Beyoncé should have won Best Female Video over Taylor Swift, and at this year’s Grammys, where he nearly interrupted Beck’s Album of the Year speech when “Morning Phase” topped “Beyoncé.” West later admitted to not having heard Beck’s album before the ceremony, and he later apologized to the singer on Twitter.

“It’s really hard to describe Kanye in one sentence, so I may have to use several,” Madonna said of the rapper, who produced songs on her forthcoming album, “Rebel Heart”:

He’s a brilliant madman. He can’t help himself. Like, he doesn’t have the same filters other people have. He has to blurt things out — he’s always saying inappropriate stuff. But he also has brilliant ideas, if you can get him to pay attention long enough, working with him in the studio. He would come and go. He would drive me bonkers, because he’s got so many things going on in his life. And this seemed to be the theme of my record, working with people who can’t get off their phone, can’t stop tweeting, can’t focus and finish a song. It drove me crazy. But when they did pay attention, it was brilliant. I was, like, running around with a butterfly net. But I feel like the music business needs him, because everyone’s become so politically correct, so safe. I don’t always agree with the things he says or does — I don’t always like his music, even. But he’s a beautiful mess. I love him.

Head to Rolling Stone for more.

Big hair news, America: Shia LaBeouf has a rattail. Yes, he saw Jared Leto’s Golden Globes braid and raised him 1,000 with a flirty, fun, new ‘do.

WERK:

shia

IT:

shia labeouf

SHIA:

shia rattail

It goes without saying that men and women are different in infinite ways. And it goes without saying that women can be a bit more verbal about how they are feeling. Of course, this is not always the case, but it does seem to be more of the norm. These differences are not necessarily bad things, but they are rife with opportunities for humor. Here are 45 statements that (most) men would never randomly say.

1. I am really craving a bowl of hot soup.

2. I feel ridiculously bloated!

3. Why does that scale hate me?

4. Why are your clothes all over the floor?

5. Why can’t you put the seat down?

6. I got that outfit on the best sale of the year.

7. Who colors their hair that color?

8. I have nothing to wear.

9. Chocolate makes me feel happy and complete.

10. Let’s watch a chick flick.

11. Did you see what she was wearing?

12. Grey’s Anatomy is so awesome.

13. That’s profile-picture-worthy.

14. I need to tweeze my eyebrows in here for the best lighting. (Said from the car.)

15. I could wear pajamas all day.

16. Let’s watch Steel Magnolias… again.

17. Wow, I really need a pedicure!

18. Saturdays are for reading People Magazine cover-to-cover.

19. I don’t think I drank enough water today.

20. I am so PMS-ing!

21. Slippers feel like clouds on my feet.

22. Does this make me look like I worked out today?

23. I could watch HGTV all day.

24. I hate all of my clothes!

25. Let’s put a sweater on the dog and take pictures.
26. I could use a hug.

27. Not sure what I’d do without my flat iron.

28. My best friend is being a bitch today.

29. I’m addicted to Pinterest.

30. That bug is freaking me out!!

31. I’m having a really bad hair day today.

32. Where do you hide the chocolate?

33. I could tell my Mom anything.

34. Do you think that either of the Property Brothers is secretly gay?

35. I just color-coordinated the clothes in my closet.

36. I forgot why I walked into the kitchen.

37. Maybe you just need a good cry?

38. I hope an Apple Store never comes to our mall.

39. Let’s have a spa day!

40. Sure, buy as many black shoes as you want!

41. These sports commentators never say anything original.

42. I don’t know how to accessorize this outfit.

43. What color would make this room pop?

44. I’m doing my Kegels right now.

45. I used my foot to flush that toilet.

WASHINGTON—In a concerted effort to ease growing tensions between the two nations, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured his critics Monday that he still has the utmost respect for U.S.



The last time Chicago’s Soldier Field hosted a Grateful Dead show, there was no such thing as StubHub.



All the ’80s you could ask for.

What could be more ’80s than a mashup of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a film about the financial and drug-using excesses of Wall Street stockbrokers, and the upbeat, cheesy theme song of “Who’s the Boss?”

The only way this could be more ’80s is if you were somehow watching it from your Rubik’s cube couch while wearing an outfit made entirely of slap bracelets. (Ouch.)

Europe’s top rights watchdog is set to rule that France’s guidance over spanking children is not sufficiently clear, Le Monde newspaper reports.

The Onion – America’s Finest News Source



Orphan Black is back on April 18, but the insane new trailer makes the wait harder to bear. Warning: spoilers ahead for those foolish enough not to have caught up on the show.

Season three kicks off where last season left us hanging: with Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) diving into the secret world of a whole new set of male clones (all played by Ari Millen). While Alison looks ready to take them on, Helena promises to kill her abductors, as Cosima continues to unlock the mysteries of DYAD.

We’ve got a little over a month to witness the stories unravel, but for now, prepare to keep track of more characters than ever before.

data-content-uri=”mgid:wordpress:mtvn_gallery:vh1.com:461277-461279″
data-flipbook-content-uri=”mgid:wordpress:mtvn_gallery:vh1.com:461277″
data-flipbook-item-index=”0″
>

View Photo Gallery



While you were braving yet another winter storm, Paris Hilton spent the weekend in Cuba. Yes, President Obama is working hard to improve relations with the Communist country so the heiress can take Instagram photos with oversized cigars.

Kim Kardashian revealed her true feelings about a packed schedule in a makeup-free post, Justin Bieber shaded his poor pops after a birthday celebration, Taylor Swift continued to be the most desirable celebrity BFF, Beyoncé stoked the fire about new music, and more of what you missed on the ‘gram over the weekend.

The Gossip Table has details on the Bieb’s 21st birthday party.

[Photo Credit: @parishilton]

A newly-divorced father lured his two sons with a new model train set before setting fire to his house, killing all three of them, an inquest hears.

Mentos, Coke, YouTubeIf you read the title of this article and thought: “well, he probably made a big ol’ mess,” then you’re right. But let’s dig a little deeper into the latest thing taking over…

Sunderland and England winger Adam Johnson is arrested on suspicion of sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Projects vulnerable to military cuts are those most critical to maintaining industry capacity

Cindy Crawford, No MakeupCindy Crawford’s still got it!

The supermodel stepped out in Malibu on Feb. 26—less than a week after her 49th birthday—looking fresh and au naturel for an errand run….

Libya’s internationally recognised government in Tobruk names former controversial anti-Islamist Khalifa Haftar as the new head of the national army.

Death and violence in the name of Islam is emerging as a theme in friends and associates of Jihadi John.



Supermarket to slash payout to help fund continuation of its price cut programme

The mother of Islamist militant Mohammed Emwazi says she immediately recognised his voice when she heard him on a hostage video released by Islamic State.