Josh Wolk dissects a night of wise cracks, butt cracks, and more

By Josh Wolk
Updated June 08, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Cameron Diaz: Michael Caulfield/ answers your MTV Movie Awards burning questions

Once again, the MTV Movie Awards prove that trophy shows don’t have to be as dull as the accountancy firm of Ernst and Young. And just because MTV’s popcornfest features multiple nominations for such forgettable garbage as ”The Cell” and ”Dude, Where’s My Car” doesn’t mean it’s any less important to movie fans than the Oscars, either. The hilarious ”Mummy Returns” and ”Cast Away” parodies were far more clever and witty than any of Billy Crystal’s past ”Look at me, I’m in a movie!” sketches. And as cohost, Jimmy Fallon was good-naturedly goofy (although his reliance on impressions is bringing him dangerously close to Dana Carvey/Rich Little territory.) As for his partner at the podium, Kristen Dunst — well, if she ain’t the cutest darned thing on the planet, I don’t know who is. Plus, watching the star-studded show did raise some burning questions about celebrity culture.

Have Tom and Nicole split custody of the award shows?
Apparently not, as they both showed up for this one. Of course, Kidman did her presentation via satellite from Melbourne, Australia, so apparently they have split custody of the hemispheres.

Female empowerment, or just whoring it up?
Lil’ Kim, who strutted down the red carpet barely contained in daisy-shaped pasties, later joined Mya, Pink, and Christina Aguilera to sing ”Lady Marmalade” in what seemed a fashion tribute to 19th-century trailer-park wear. What’s more, ads for Mariah Carey’s new album ”Glitter” featured her gyrating with micropants that were fast disappearing into her nether region. It all came off as a little desperate — and the same goes for actresses, like Shannon Elizabeth, who wore a see-through top that was just like watching her ”American Pie” nude scene…only with pantyhose over your head. And there was Halle Berry, who pointed to her breasts and said seeing them bare was the main reason to see ”Swordfish.” Suddenly, the leap from legit actress to porn star doesn’t seem as far as it used to be.

Did only the women show some skin?
No. Although Dave Matthews, Weezer, and nearly all the male actors were fully dressed, Ashton Kutcher did show a hint of butt crack while presenting with Christina Ricci. Color him empowered!

Tom Cruise: In on the joke, or not?
Cruise has certainly mastered his mirthful grin, but beyond that, there’s no indication that he has any idea what he’s laughing at. After accepting his Best Actor” award for ”Mission: Impossible 2,” he thanked the fans repeatedly, as if hoping one of them would hold up a cue card from the audience with a pithy remark, then finally retreated backstage to slap on his Cruisegrin 2001 as Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers did some impromptu shtick.

Are all stars naturally funny?
No. While many winners like Ben Stiller (Best Comedic Performance, ”Meet the Parents”), Cameron Diaz (Best Dance Sequence, ”Charlie’s Angels”), and Jim Carrey (Best Villain, ”Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) were winningly hilarious on stage, others weren’t able to muster the sense of humor they’ve been able to simulate on film. After Jimmy Fallon finished his dual impressions of Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, the camera showed ”American Pie”’s Chris Klein in the audience, staring with a dazed, ”Which way did he go?” expression. Then, of course, there was Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs, who proceeded to do a nonsensical intro with Aaliyah with the same slackjawed expression that he carries with him everywhere, and would NEVER drop out of a car.