The MTV Movie Awards are typically an exercise in frothy Hollywood film promotion but on Sunday night they were a ritual of redemption for two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tom Cruise and Sandra Bullock.
The show was jammed pack with popcorn commercials but if you paid attention there were also surprisingly emotional moments, none more than the 21 Century survivor declarations by the stars of “Top Gun” and “Speed.”
Cruise opened the show in the hairy-chested, Tinseltown mercenary persona of Les Grosssman from “Tropic Thunder” and by channeling his inner Fly Girl with his dance moves. He turned his image from Scientology to scatology and added a considerable amount of grease to his stiff-guy stereotype.
Bullock shedded even more baggage; there has been a mountain of tabloid press devoted to her wrecked marriage with Jesse James and this appearance was a carefully crafted public display of endurance. “I love what I do. I’m not going anywhere,” the Oscar-winning actress said in an unusually heartfelt moment during a gala that is far more familiar with flatuence and f-bombs.
The most advertised component of this year’s movie awards event at the Gibson Amphitheatre was a clip from the third film of “The Twilight Saga,” which arrives in theatres on June 30. The stars of that vampy franchise, Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart, drew big applause as they came onstage but after an awkward and stilted stage skit (Will they kiss? Does anybody care?) it was clear that the night belonged to a pair of old pros looking for the next chapter of their L..A. Stories.
Bullock was presented with the show’s highest honor by her “All About Steve” co-star Bradley Cooper, “The Proposal” co-star Betty White and Scarlett Johansson, the wife of her absentee “Proposal” leading man Ryan Reynolds. When asked why she was there to help hand over the trophy, Johansson hinted she wanted to lay one on Bullock, who awkwardly obliged.
“Now that we have done that,” said a smiling Bullock, “can we please go back to normal?”
When it came to the awards “The Twilight Saga” eclipsed the competition for the second year. “New Moon” sucked up trophies for best movie, kiss, female performance for Kristen Stewart and male performance and global superstar for Robert Pattinson.
Other winners selected by online votes included “Obsessed” co-stars Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter for best fight, “Jennifer’s Body” star Amanda Seyfried for “scared-as-s--t moment,” “Ninja Assassin” star Rain for “biggest badass star,” “The Hangover” star Zach Galifianakis for comedic performance and “Up in the Air” co-star Anna Kendrick for breakout star.