The Globes, determined by 86 junket-junkie foreign scribes who never met a breakfast buffet they didn't love, is the self-proclaimed "party of the year" that's loose and lively and far more fun than its stuffy older sister, the Oscars, and far more hip than its superficial cousin, the Emmys.
That's because liquor is served and the bar never closes.
Monday night, a star was born as the E! channel's Isaac Mizrahi proved himself queen for the night, asking Teri Hatcher if she was wearing underwear under her copper Versace (she wasn't), what a handbag-free Natalie Portman in vintage Chanel would do if she needed a credit card or condom (like any star, she would ask her entourage), and - honest - fondled Scarlett Johansson's ample assets, sheathed as they were in a fluttering red Valentino. Purely for research, darling.
Among the evening's sartorial trends were strapless gowns with scalloped bodices and other distractions, including Zhang Ziyi in a dazzling chartreuse gown with a clam-shell top, Michelle Williams in gauzy aubergine, Kyra Sedgwick in warm chocolate, supporting-actress winner Rachel Weisz in a retro copper number bordering on architecture, and Charlize Theron in lacy black - and, alas, reprising her orange Creamsicle spray-on tan of two Oscars ago.
In investigative preshow reporting, we learned that there's someone named Jimmy Jimmy Cocoa who will spray you in your living room for $100, provided you're a somebody.
The babes of "Desperate Housewives" appeared in vivid Technicolor: Marcia Cross in tangerine, Nicolette Sheridan in lapis (with matching sapphires), and Eva Longoria in a red Bob Mackie, red being a favored color of the evening, chosen by Geena Davis in a bejeweled Escada, and the aforementioned Johansson.
White was more prevalent than black. Nearly all the Brits and near-Brits chose white: Keira Knightley in a strapless Valentino with huge vintage Cartier teardrop earrings that weighed more than she does; a very blond and glamoroso Emma Thompson in a white gown with a white fox stole (and the evening's best accessory, Colin Firth); a luminous Kate Beckinsale in white Dior, white fur wrap, and emerald-and-diamond earrings the size of scones; and English-by-marriage-and-frequent-accent Gwyneth Paltrow full with child in a flowing, wispy Balenciaga.
Also in white were best actress Reese Witherspoon in a sequin-topped, full-skirted vintage Chanel, Felicity Huffman in a white gown with silver trim, and Maria Bello.
Most men exhibited restraint. Terrence Howard was elegant in a dark suit and silver satin tie, a white rose pinned to his lapel. Jeremy Piven did an interesting brown-on-black turn. And Ludacris opted for a huge-lapeled tux and a fat polka-dot tie that oddly worked.
Some men, though, can get away with being different. Johnny Depp dug deeper into his pirate Deppness, wearing an open-necked red shirt that harked back to disco. He can get away with this, being Johnny Depp and living in France and all. Adrien Brody channeled his inner Cecil B. DeMille, or some costume stolen from the set of "King Kong, sporting a black ascot under his wide-open white shirt. He can get away with this, being utterly Adrien Brody and all.
Certainly no Hollywood night would be perfect, or thoroughly enjoyable, without momentary eruptions of questionable taste.
In the show's opening moments, Queen Latifah managed to celebrate her movie "Last Holiday's" weekend box office AND the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which, in the history of hubris, ranks high.
Fraulein Heidi "You're Out" Klum joined "Project Runway's" rejects with a trifecta of bad taste: a horse-harness dress, an execrable dye-job, and gym hair. Hard-core fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker, in a strapless black Rochas dress, chomped gum, which is never fashionable. And Pamela Anderson swaddled her considerable talents in what appeared to be a baby sling - but what were you expecting, an understated Chanel?