Maybe we've just succumbed to the Hallmark-backed brainwashing that reduces the populace to a bunch of joylessly romantic zombies drooling the brown juice of half-chewed chocolate down their slackened jaws each February 14, but we find ourselves completely unable to resist a good love story this morning. Over in Berlin, semi-mummified Viacom overlord Sumner Redstone briefly paused from describing his corporate empire's plans for an immediate takeover of all German media to once again share the depth of his feelings for his kept Paramount man, Brad Grey, in whose warm embrace Redstone plans to spend the rest of his (neverending) days. From an interview in THR:
THR: Paramount didn't have a great year last year ... Redstone: Paramount is in a major turnaround right now. "Dreamgirls" has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. "Babel" has been nominated for (seven), including best picture. Steven Spielberg has a picture coming, "Transformers." I've seen part of it, it is fantastic. "Norbit" opened to $34 million on its first weekend. You will see us rising from the bottom to the top or very near the top in the first six months of this year. We have a great leader in (Paramount Pictures CEO) Brad Grey.
We think he is doing just about all the right things. Before I came to Germany, I saw him in London at the BAFTAS, where several of our pictures were nominated. He's a great leader. I've always said what makes a difference between the winners and the losers is what management brings to the assets. And I believe we have the best management possible at Viacom, at CBS and at the studio.
A disarmingly giddy Redstone then revealed the special Valentine's Day surprises he arranged for his beloved studio chief, which involved a team of florists working all night to fill Grey's office from floor to ceiling in delicate rose petals, and a planned lunchtime serenade involving hundreds of Paramount employees gathering under their boss's window to croon "Unchained Melody," the pair's favorite song.