Are they or aren't they? Well, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, who started dating last spring, won't admit to having any wedding plans, but they have been house hunting in Montecito, Calif. At least two real estate brokers say that they've shown the couple houses in the area and that the pair couldn't have been sweeter. "They are the salt of the earth," says their primary agent, Rebecca Riskin, who took Aniston and Pitt to see several mansions with privacy and spectacular views. Another broker, Gene O'Hagan, showed the couple a rambling 70-year-old beach house and reports, "It didn't suit them. They were looking for something a little bit more modern, and they were looking for a little more privacy too. [But they] were delightful, charming and polite." Now, according to Riskin, they have decided to look elsewhere.

Madeleine Albright isn't the only person who gets caught up in critical international conference calls. With the Oscars approaching, popular shoe designer Stuart Weitzman found himself talking to six people on two continents in hopes of reaching agreement on...the proper height and slant of the heel for the shoes he was making to match the periwinkle-blue dress that nominee Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters) plans to wear to the Oscars. Among other Weitzman designer feats: creating rhinestone-accented footwear for presenter Lisa Kudrow—and making the faux jewels look antique by soaking them in household bleach.

If the painful slaps that Billy Crystal gives fellow actor Joe Viterelli in the comedy Analyze This look real, they are. While filming the scene, Crystal, as mobster Paul Vitti's (Robert De Niro) shrink, gave Viterelli, who plays. Vitti's faithful sidekick Jelly, a whack. Afterwards Viterelli saw De Niro watching the monitor with director Harold Ramis and overheard him tell Crystal, "Hit him harder. Give him a good one." Crystal did, and Ramis said to cut and print. Then, says Viterelli, "I see [Ramis] talking to De Niro at the monitor again. I say, 'Oh, no.' De Niro was making a motion with his hand, and he brings it all the way back. He nods to Billy, and they say, 'Let's do it again.' " Take three, slap scene: "Billy did wind up, the [blankety-blank-blank]," says Viterelli. "In all the movies I've ever done, nobody's ever slapped me, and that includes my whole life and everyone on the planet."

Carly Simon and her daughter Sally Taylor (Dad is James Taylor) have finished writing and are planning to record their first collaboration, a song about friendship called "Amity." It will be heard on the soundtrack for the movie Anywhere But Here, an upcoming mother-daughter drama starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Simon has long wanted to collaborate. Says Sally, 25, who has cut a debut album of her own called Tomboy Bride: "Writing and working on this song brought us into a new arena of friendship. All of a sudden, Mom recognized me as a musician. It was a real honor. I have tremendous respect for her. It was an amazing gift, like she was knighting me into musichood."

  • Contributors:
  • Hugh McCarten.