By Erick Johnson
This year was definitely one for setting trends in Hollywood, as quite a few big name celebrities seem to take notes from one another for tips on how to run their personal lives.\The year 2003 was a prime one for Hollywood ladies ridding themselves of relationships that weren't working for them and then going full speed ahead with their careers. Sharon Stone
and Halle Berry
are the first two A-List ladies that come to mind in this category, given they not only ended marriages this year, they also co-star together in the upcoming big screen feature "Catwoman."
Though Stone ended a 5-year union with San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein and Berry ended her 2-year marriage to R & B singer Eric Benet, that didn't slow these ladies one bit when it came to working.
Stone's 2003 marked an upswing in her professional life. She not only landed the villain role in "Catwoman," her guest stint on the newly-revamped "The Practice" was also well received. She was also on the big screen with her first feature in three years with "Cold Creek Manor."
Fresh off her 2002 Oscar win, Berry continued to tear through 2003 with a Bond film, the box-office smash "X2," and finally her first solo-starring feature with "Gothika."
When mentioning this category, one can?t forget about Jennifer Garner, whose divorce from hubby Scott Foley seemed to be the only rough spot in an otherwise smooth sail on the sea of success. There was her mega salary increase -- to nearly $150,000 per episode for "Alias." Garner made such as splash opposite Ben Affleck in "Daredevil," she got her own franchise out of it. The action film "Elektra," which is named after Garner's character is due to begin shooting this summer.
Uma Thurman must be counted among this number as well. Not only did she go on record saying she and actor/novelist hubby Ethan Hawke are having marital trouble, she also let the movie-going public know that she can still kick butt at the box office. The Quentin Tarantino-helmed "Kill Bill: Volume 1," in which she starred, opened at number one this summer. It looks like the same could happen in February when Miramax releases "Kill Bill: Volume 2."
While the perfect accessory for the typical Hollywood actress is often a vintage handbag or a diamond choker necklace, it seems that in 2003 for many of the town's actresses the perfect accessory was a younger beau.
Take the tight-bodied 40-year-old Demi Moore for instance. It wasn't enough for her to make a re-entry into Hollywood with the abs of a 25-year-old starlet; she had to have an actual 25-year-old as well. Moore and her relationship with "That '70s Show" star Ashton Kutcher have made the two one of the most media-covered couples of the year, outside you-know-who, but we'll get to them later.
Moore's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" co-star Cameron Diaz got in on the dating younger guys act as well, as the 31-year-old, highest paid actress in showbiz, revealed that she was exclusive with none other than 22-year-old pop star Justin Timberlake.
Then there was 39-year-old Vivica A. Fox, who for part of the year was stepping out with 27-year-old multi-platinum rapper "50 Cents," a.k.a. Curtis Jackson. And who could forget 35-year-old Naomi Watts' ongoing relationship with 24-year-old Heath Ledger?
Many celebrities chose to keep their love lives private and rarely appeared in the pages of the tabloids. Others didn't mind broadcasting -- and we don't just mean Bennifer and their countless public displays of affection and candid disclosures to the media.
Ryan Sutter wooed and won "Bachelorette" Trista Rehn on network television, followed by -- what else? -- a network TV wedding this fall. And as the year draws to a close, Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft, united on "The Bachelor," have made the cover of People magazine for splitting up. What a shocker...not!
The year 2003 will be remembered for adding new dimension to reality show fishbowl living. This, after all, is the year that's bringing us "The Simple Life" with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, though many internet users already found out as much as they wanted to know about Paris by way of her sex-capade video on the web -- perhaps the ultimate reality show.
This year marked the beginning of summertime outdoor film screenings in a Hollywood grave yard, and the burgeoning popularity of spa-nightclubs. It also brought the beautiful seaside community and favorite star getaway spot, Santa Barbara, into the public spotlight.
It is there, in what is sometimes called California's Riviera, that Michael Jackson turned himself in, and got out on bail. It is where Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez chose not to wed, citing too much media attention. And it was where Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin did tie the knot -- successfully ducking media attention entirely. Wonder if you-know-who learned a lesson from that?