Every year, Hollywood's brightest stars gather for an evening to honor the artistry and craftsmanship of the finest filmmaking of the past 12 months, as well as to pay tribute to the history of cinema itself.
That night is not the MTV Movie Awards.
Unlike the illustrious Oscars, the MTV Movie Awards are a freewheeling affair with a populist sensibility, one that rewards blockbuster action movies, raunchy comedies and teen romances rather than prestige pictures.
The ceremony is powered by fan voting, marked by shameless self-promotion, and most notable for tongue-in-cheek awards categories and outre moments. We've already gone over what to expect from this year's show, which airs Sunday evening. Until then, let's take a look back at some memorable moments from years past.
Bruno and Eminem get acquainted
Back in 2009, the chameleonic comedian Sacha Baron Cohen drummed up plenty of publicity for his coming film "Bruno," about the colorfully gay character of the same name, by quite literally dropping in on Eminem.
The notoriously prickly rapper didn't take kindly to having Baron Cohen's rear end in his face and quickly stormed off. The incident was later revealed to be a stunt.
Tom Cruise busts a move
A year after the Bruno bit, Tom Cruise brought out his own alter ego for a few laughs. Reprising his role as the blowhard studio executive Les Grossman from "Tropic Thunder," Cruise once again donned a fat suit and oversize prosthetic hands, then showed off some surprisingly nimble dance moves. He even held his own opposite Jennifer Lopez.
Incidentally, Cruise's action movie "Knight and Day" opened just weeks later. Notice a trend yet?
Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn make a big pitch
In light of Hollywood's current obsession with sequels, remakes and reboots, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn's sketch from the 2008 Movie Awards actually seems eerily prescient. In the taped segment, the pair pitch a befuddled James Cameron their idea for a sequel — to "Titanic."
"How can you do that?" Cameron asks. "That's sacrilege."
"In one world, sacrilege," Stiller replies. "In another world, tribute."
"I prefer tribute," Vaughn chimes in.
Reese Witherspoon enlightens a generation
Four years ago, Reese Witherspoon accepted the Generation Award, MTV's version of a lifetime achievement award. The "Walk the Line" actress had some choice words for those looking to follow in her footsteps (rather than those of, say, Kim Kardashian).
"I just want to say to all the girls out there, I know it's cool to be bad, I get it," Witherspoon said. "But it's also possible to make it in Hollywood without a reality show. When I came up in this business, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed. And if you took naked pictures of yourself on your cellphone, you hide your face, people!"
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams lock lips
The Movie Awards are perhaps best known for their unique awards, including such cheeky kudos as best shirtless performance and best WTF moment. The most swooned-over is the award for best kiss, which arguably reached its pinnacle at the 2005 show. That was the year when "The Notebook" costars — and real-life couple at the time — Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams re-created their winning smooch on stage.
Gosling and McAdams would eventually split up, but they'll always have the Movie Awards.
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