BAD BOYS, BAD GIRLS: WHAT’CHA GONNA DO?

Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, in not-so-better days.

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: With the current controversy surrounding Bill Cosby's alleged past behaviors, some of the allegations being criminal, this Deseret News column published on Aug. 26, 2010, seems timely.

Celebrity bad behavior is beginning to affect how I look at certain performers' movies and television shows. Not good.

Mel Gibson is today's chief example. His off-screen antics have been so off-putting that when my wife and I watched the "Maverick" movie again recently (primarily for James Garner) it was difficult to enjoy on its own terms.

Back when I was the movie critic, I would occasionally interview stars whose bad behavior I witnessed firsthand.

I know, it's hard to believe that a star trying to earn publicity for his latest movie would be obnoxious to the press, but it happens.

So when I later had to review a movie starring that person, I tried very hard to put my personal feelings aside and tried to simply evaluate the work. Sometimes it was difficult.

But today, when we know so much, way too much, about so many celebrities, with gossip permeating, sometimes dominating, even "legitimate" news outlets, it's even more troublesome.

It hit me again while channel surfing one evening when I came across a movie with Lindsay Lohan, and moments later landed on an episode of "Ugly Betty" with Lohan as a guest star.

I watched each one for a few minutes, remembering how I used to enjoy Lohan in films like "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie Fully Loaded," as well as her smaller role in "A Prairie Home Companion." And as a child in the "Parent Trap" remake.

But too much information about her personal life has tainted whatever pleasure might be gleaned from watching her again.

I can't be the only one who feels this way.