It's known for its glamour and excess, but in many ways Cannes can also be considered one of the most democratic celebrity attractions, not only for the elite but also for the barely famous. Here, they celebrate the tacky and the shameless. Here is where the shameless come to remind people that they still exist.
Which must have been why Jean-Claude Van Damme, currently promoting a reality show, decided to strut down the Croisette during peak hours on Thursday afternoon, allowing himself to be surrounded by gawkers and rubberneckers while the paparazzi photographed him flexing and squinting his way down the street.
But no one better exemplifies how tacky Cannes can be than Paris Hilton. The Hiltons are here, naturally, to host a party. Nicky killed time on a yacht on Thursday night while awaiting Paris's arrival. Immediately upon touching down, Paris was overheard complaining that there weren't enough cute boys, prompting two minions to scurry away in search of adequately attractive male companions.
Michelle Rodriguez was the celebrity DJ at the party hosted by jeweller Chopard on Thursday night, dressed way down in a rock 'n' roll T-shirt among the professional sycophants dripping in diamonds.
And it took three days, but I've found my first festival crush of Cannes 2010. Aaron Johnson, the 19-year-old star of Kick-Ass, is here to promote his new film Chatroom. More intriguing is Johnson's fiancée, Sam Taylor-Wood, the 43-year-old British artist who is expecting his child. Their relationship and age difference has raised eyebrows in England. Taylor-Wood is rarely far from Johnson's side. She'll be the one modelling maternity wear at the parties this weekend among all the scantily clad Euro-babes. Perhaps Taylor-Wood can compare notes on younger companions with Woody Allen, whose latest film, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, premieres Saturday.
And Carey Mulligan and Shia LaBeouf have brought their love to the French Riviera. Trying to be discreet about their relationship while promoting Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the two are getting their romantic fixes during sneaky cigarette breaks in between interviews and holding hands during car rides to and from the promotional venues.
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