Sunday, December 14, 2008

So the Kelso thing? Not just an act...

Oh, dear, sweet, hometown Homestead-Ashton. That's Kutcher, and not The Daily Iowan's beloved and oft-Rickrolled news reporter with the surname Shurson.

I'm actually watching Guess Who?, Kutcher's 2005 socially-relevant comedy of a much better socially-relevant film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? How fated that this film is on TBS one day after Mr. Kutcher visited Iowa City, home of his semi-mater the University of Iowa, on an altruistic mission?

Mr. Kutcher was here as part of Mediacom's flood relief effort Make A Difference. He and his wife Demi attended the Iowa basketball game, before shuffling over to the Englert for a fundraiser screening of his new film, Personal Effects, a VIP fan meet and greet, and awkward press conference, which I had the good fortune to attend.

It was made very clear that the press were not allowed to see the film unless they purchased a ticket, so I decided to go the DI Wine and Cheese route instead. But I took notes, like an actual reporter, and I'd like to share them now.

Kutcher called Dan Gable a personal hero, and said that he was a wrestler in high school. But he "wasn't good enough to be an Iowa wrestler," though he wanted to be one, but he is "good enough to play one in the movies," which he does in Personal Effects.

He signed on to this particular fundraiser because it "provided the gravitas of a long-term solution." And to the haters on various Iowa news outlets' websites, who condemn Kutcher for not coming home to help earlier, he replies, "What are they doing?"

In explaining his involvement, Kutcher cited the biblical proverb about teaching a man to fish as opposed to just giving a man to fish, saying a teacher taught it to him. He said that Iowans knew how to fish, but all they needed was a "rod and a reel."

And that was only the beginning of Kutcher's kind comments to Iowans. Some even came at the expense of other natural disaster victims. He said, "Iowans like to get it done themselves," about the lack of press coverage after this summer's flooding in comparison to that other disaster, Hurricane Katrina. He said Katrina victims, in contrast to Iowa flood victims, embraced a more "give it to me" attitude about relief and rescue efforts. He then compared the flood to the 2004 Tsunami as well, saying that a "flood appears to be more gentle," and people like to see carnage, things that are more "cinemagraphic," whatever that means.

He said he's from Hollywood, so he's dramatic, and will scream for Iowans to get aid. There's a "sense of earnership" (another made up word?) and "pride" so Iowans "didn't cry as loud" when the nation's "second largest national disaster" in history hit the Corn state.

"I'm passionate about other people," he said, doe eyed and scruffy in front of the press.

The whole event boiled down to Kutcher wanting to "raise awareness" because "people forget quick," and "it's easy to forget when there's no drama."

He sounded genuinely moved when he describe Cedar Rapids as "a ghost of a town" and how "shocking" the images were during/post-flood. He saw the hospital where he was born in under water, drowning alongside the museums where he used to rollerblade on the railings.

Take from the quotes what you will, and feel free to comment or e-mail me if you want more salacious details or my personal opinions.

He's pretty cute in real life though.

-Meryn, who is now watching A Lot Like Love as part of TBS' Kutcher double-feature. She doesn't care what you say, this movie is a personal favorite, mostly because of the soundtrack and the plot. plus Kutch gets naked with Amanda Peet. HOT.

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