Celebrities

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The (Jewish) women

“The Women,” which opens Friday, Sept. 12, is an updated remake of the 1930s play/film of the same name. The remake, like the original, shows us only female characters. Men and boys are referred to — but not seen. Meg Ryan stars as Mary Haines, a woman who initially seems to have it all: a handsome Wall Street tycoon husband, a nice young daughter and a part-time job as a fashion designer. Her best friends include Sylvie (Annette Bening), the editor of a chic fashion magazine, and Edie Cohen (Debra Messing), an eccentric with a lot of kids.

Mary’s life starts going downhill after Sylvie finds out from a fancy department store manicurist (Debi Mazar) that Mary’s husband is having an affair with the store’s perfume counter clerk (Eva Mendes). (Mazar’s mother was born a Catholic, but often switched religions; even adopting Judaism for a short time, and her Latvian Jewish father was hidden during the Holocaust and was raised a Catholic. The actress, who isn’t religious, didn’t know her father was Jewish until she was an adult.)

Shortly thereafter, Mary loses her designer job and Sylvie betrays Mary by giving a gossip columnist (Carrie Fisher) the dirt on Mary’s husband’s affair. Devastated, Mary goes to a mountain retreat where she meets a saucy Hollywood agent (Bette Midler). The agent fills Mary with the confidence to go back home and effectively cope with her situation.

Opening the same day is Joel and Ethan Coen‘s new comedy, “Burn After Reading.” John Malkovich plays a CIA agent who writes a memoir of his time at the agency. His estranged wife puts the memoir on a computer disc which accidentally falls into the hands of a guy who works at a gym (Brad Pitt), who decides to blackmail Malkovich. George Clooney plays a CIA agent who tries to get the disc back.

Celebrity TV

The HBO series “Entourage” began its fifth season on Sept. 7. A new character this season is Jacqueline, Johnny Drama’s (Kevin Dillon) pretty French girlfriend. Jacqueline is played by Julia Levy, 23, who was born and raised in France, but has Israeli citizenship. Levy, who is fluent in Hebrew, co-starred in a hit Israeli TV show and served in the Israeli army. Returning are series co-stars Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold) and Debi Mazar (Shauna). Also, Emmanuelle Chriqui (Sloan) and Martin Landau (Bob Ryan) will each appear in at least one new episode, reprising characters from prior seasons. Jamie Lynn Sigler will appear as herself in this season’s third episode.

Top celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe (pronounced “zoh”) has a new Bravo docudrama series, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” which follows her around as she builds a new design business for the general public, while still servicing her mostly A-list celebrity clients. Zoe, 37, was born into a wealthy Jewish family as Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig. Her husband, Rodger Berman whom I presume is Jewish, is a former investment banker who now produces and owns various award shows. This gives him the chance to travel with his wife as she styles the celebs appearing on these shows. He’s prominently featured in the TV show, which started Sept. 9. (New episodes air Tuesdays at 10 p.m.)

Zoe was not the first celebrity stylist, but she was the first to realize that styling for celebs could expand from picking out clothes for a few awards shows into a year-round job. Nowadays, celebs are often photographed anytime they leave their homes and need to be “styled” almost round-the-clock.

The demand for Zoe’s services has grown exponentially, and Zoe rarely has time to even speak on the phone with her mother or sister. She told a magazine: “My whole family e-mails me now to get in touch with me. I mean, imagine the Jewish guilt in my family — you have no idea.”

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected].