Bach­e­lor party over

Sorry ladies, George Clooney is ty­ing the knot this week­end in one of the most ro­man­tic ci­ties in the world

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno

VENICE, Italy — George Clooney vowed he would never marry again, giv­ing hope to mil­lions of women that they one day might get their chance at ro­mance with Hol­ly­wood’s most el­i­gi­ble bach­e­lor. And for more than two decades, Clooney’s love life has been tabloid fod­der as he car­ried on ro­mances with a se­ries of mod­els and ac­tresses, a cock­tail wait­ress, an Ital­ian star­let and a for­mer pro­fes­sional wrestler be­fore meet­ing his match in hu­man rights lawyer Alma Ala­mud­din. Less than five months after their en­gage­ment was an­nounced, the cou­ple is mar­ry­ing this week­end in a celebrity-stud­ded wed­ding ex­trav­a­ganza in Venice, one of the world’s most ro­man­tic set­tings. It has not been re­ported if Michelle Pfeif­fer has called him on his $100,000 bet that he would, in­deed, never marry again fol­low­ing his four-year mar­riage to Talia Bal­sam, which ended in 1993. And it is un­known how many hearts have been bro­ken by Clooney’s re­nun­ci­a­tion of his sworn bach­e­lor­hood, but there are plenty. “I am go­ing to tell all the women who are sad be­cause George is get­ting mar­ried: Yeah, you lost this one be­cause he is an hon­ourable, sen­si­tive, in­tel­li­gent, sweet guy,” said Howard Brag­man, vice chair­man of rep­u­ta­tion.com and a long-time Hol­ly­wood pub­li­cist who has ob­served Clooney in ac­tion on sets and at events. Brag­man said Clooney “holds a very unique place in Hol­ly­wood.” “George is a con­tem­po­rary throw­back star. He is con­tem­po­rary in his think­ing. He has taken stands on pol­i­tics, in pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, on Dar­fur and other causes, but in terms of his re­spect and his place in the Hol­ly­wood sys­tem, he is very tra­di­tional. He is a throw­back to a time­less movie star, almost Cary Grant,” he said. Venice is per­haps a nat­u­ral set­ting for Clooney’s wed­ding. The star owns a villa on Lake Como north of Mi­lan, feels at home in Italy and is a fre­quent vis­i­tor to Venice, of­ten to pro­mote his films at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val. While the Vene­tian wa­ter­ways of­fer stun­ning views of the city’s Byzan­tine and Re­nais­sance ar­chi­tec­ture, where East truly meets West, its sys­tem of is­lands also per­mits pri­vacy and eas­ily re­stricted ac­cess. Clooney and Ala­mud­din ar­rived in Venice by bus on Fri­day ac­com­pa­nied by a small group of guests, in­clud­ing the groom’s par­ents, as well as Cindy Craw­ford and her hus­band. A clutch of pho­tog­ra­phers greeted them, and the cou­ple obliged with smiles and poses. They were met by Clooney’s reg­u­lar wa­ter-taxi driver, who pi­loted the group down the scenic route along the pic­turesque Grand Canal lined by stun­ning palazzi, in­clud­ing the one where the cou­ple is to be mar­ried in a civil cer­e­mony on Mon­day. Clooney and his bride stood out­side dur­ing the wa­ter-taxi ride, his arm com­fort­ably around her as they were con­veyed along the most fa­mous of Venice’s canals on a boat fit­tingly named Amore. He waved to well-wish­ers as they passed un­der the famed Rialto Bridge. The wa­ter jour­ney ended at the lux­ury Cipri­ani Ho­tel, Clooney’s usual res­i­dence when in Venice, on an is­land op­po­site St. Mark’s Square. Clooney, 53, and Ala­mud­din, 36, have not pub­licly di­vulged de­tails of the cel­e­bra­tions — leav­ing plenty open to spec­u­la­tion. A re­porter saw a dis­tinct hexag­o­nal box that Ala­mud­din was pho­tographed car­ry­ing through a Mi­lan air­port on Thurs­day ar­rive by wa­ter taxi at the Aman Ho­tel over­look­ing the Grand Canal, ru­moured to be the venue of one of the week­end fes­tiv­i­ties. The wed­ding veil, per­haps? And the mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion: Who de­signed the dress she will wear? Gior­gio Ar­mani said dur­ing Mi­lan Fash­ion Week that the groom would be wear­ing Ar­mani. Clooney is a long­time friend of the de­signer and has in the past been a front-row guest at his menswear shows. And an Ar­mani suit bag ar­rived with Clooney, among two vans of lug­gage, in Venice. Venice city of­fi­cials have an­nounced the clo­sure of a 50-me­tre length of pedes­trian way along the Grand Canal where the 16th-cen­tury Cavalli Palace is lo­cated for two hours on Mon­day for the Clooney nup­tials. Me­dia have spec­u­lated that the cou­ple will have two cer­e­monies — one on Satur­day fol­lowed by a civil cer­e­mony Mon­day. The ar­rival of other celebri­ties in Venice on Fri­day in­di­cated starstud­ded fes­tiv­i­ties were in the mak­ing. Those spot­ted in­cluded Clooney’s cousin Miguel Fer­rer, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Anna Win­tour and Richard Kind. “I think it is go­ing to help his im­age,” Brag­man said. “He mar­ried some­one who is su­per in­tel­li­gent, su­per beau­ti­ful and su­per com­fort­able in her own skin. And I think that shows that here is a guy who has enough se­cu­rity in his own skin to marry some­one who is truly his equal.”

LUIGI COSTANTINI / AP PHOTO

George Clooney and his fi­ancee Amal Ala­mud­din ar­rive in Venice, Italy, Fri­day.

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