American graffiti

THEY'VE ALREADY contaminated the television airwaves with their scatological gross-outs; now South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are looking to induce nausea on a larger scale with their movie BASEketball. Directed by David Zucker (Airplane!, Naked Gun), BASEketball stars Parker and Stone as two good-for-nothings who invent a new game, a baseball-basketball conflation whose most striking component is the psyche out - distracting the opposition by any means necessary. (Examples: lactating projectile streams of milk at them, pretending to ingest what's left over from a "Marlon Brando liposuction".)

Lowbrow humour is clearly back: the Farrelly brothers' There's Something About Mary applies disgusting sight gags to a romantic comedy with surprisingly winning results; even Henry Fool, the new movie by the cerebral independent director Hal Hartley, contains a show-stopping homage to Dumb and Dumber's notorious diarrhoea set-piece.

BASEketball has attracted some healthy pre-release controversy. The posters - which show Parker and Stone each holding two baseketballs in front of their respective crotches - have been banned by Boston subway officials, who called them "insipid and crude". The boys, needless to say, were typically unbothered. Parker told the Boston Herald: "Great!" while Stone mysteriously declared, "I love Boston. It's offensive - offensively cold."

WHEN Bridget Jones's Diary was published in America, the one-line pitch - British version of Ally McBeal, insufferable TV attorney - was irresistible to most Americans. And new parallels are developing. Bridget will soon be the subject of a feature film, and Ally is publishing her "diary" in time for Christmas. Ally McBeal: The Diary promises the inside scoop on Ally's colleagues, and various insights, like Ally's "rules of kissing". Meanwhile, Bridget Jones's weight problem was called into question last week in Entertainment Weekly, which pointed out that Bridget's daily weight updates are not matched by information about her height. Author Helen Fielding told the magazine that Bridget's height and age are kept "deliberately vague". But a spokesperson for Viking, the book's US publisher, was willing to speculate, describing Bridget as "definitely not fat, but not Ally McBeal skinny - maybe like Kate Winslet."

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