Tom Cruise is Winning Us Back

Why Tom Cruise is started to be cool again.

L.A. Confidential

Tom Cruise’s Risky Business: Winning Us Back

Why Tom Cruise is cool again (bad reviews or not!)

Carrie Seim

Tom CruiseThe last few years, Tom Cruise has felt like an ex-boyfriend I privately, silently lusted after. I couldn’t breathe a word of my top secret infatuation to anyone, for fear of collateral damage to my social life. After Tom’s couch-jumping with Oprah, his mating with Katie, his post-partum arguing with Brooke and his Matt Lauer glib-off, it was risky business to admit what I saw in the man.

He seemed alternately lost in space, lost in scientology or lost in himself. But for some reason, my eyes stayed wide shut and my heart stayed true.

And now, I’m gingerly lifting my shroud of secrecy. It’s official – Tom Cruise is inching toward cool again. While I may not be shouting it from the rooftops quite yet, I’m at least saying it in my inside voice: My name is Carrie, and I have a Cruise crush.

In the last two weeks, Tom has made a charming return to the land of normalcy. He’s worked his (hot, toned) rear off to promote Valkyrie, which opens Thursday. It’s a tough job to sell a Hitler assassination movie on Christmas Day, but the film’s been getting better-than-expected buzz and Tom’s selling it with a renewed gusto and sense of play.

He’s appeared on Regis and Kelly (hanging around to watch Jamie Fox’s segment and signing autographs in the street) and Ryan Seacrest’s KISS-FM radio show (chatting about romantic birthday surprises for Katie Homes and advising men, “You gotta know the right things and pay attention throughout the year and just know your lady).

On the Today Show, Tom made it a point to make up with Matt Lauer, admitting he could have “handled the situation better,” in regards to his heated postpartum depression medication debate on the show three years ago.

Any PR spin doctor will tell you that clawing your way out of a publicity disaster requires admitting your mistakes. And dousing yourself with a bucket of self-deprecation.

Tom’s done both this week, working hard to woo us back. On David Letterman, he read a Top Ten list about the crazy things people say about him on the Internet. Watching Tom self-mockingly say, “I believe all emotional and psychological disorders can be cured with Vicks VapoRub,” had me once again practicing my Carrie Cruise signature.

And on Monday he played a fun little game with Jimmy Kimmel on Hollywood Blvd.

Oh, Tom, we may have parted ways for a bit, but you had me – dancing in my underwear – at hello.

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