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Elegance and a Dash of Existentialism


The Scene: Tuesday's benefit premiere of Columbia Pictures' Release of Castle Rock Entertainment's "North" at the Motion Picture Academy. An elaborate party followed at a lot at Wilshire and Doheny. The film tells the story of a boy fed up with his parents who goes looking for replacements. On the subject of good parenting, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus said: "I try to stay home as often as possible, which is why I'm making this mistake by being here tonight."

The Buzz: There is a truly deep well of affection in the entertainment community for director Rob Reiner and Castle Rock. But the overwhelming consensus was that this film should have been dropped in a well. "I was surprised everyone kept their butts in the seats for the whole movie," one guest said. "I think it was a tribute to Rob that they did."

Who Was There: Reiner; stars Elijah Wood and Louis-Dreyfus; co-stars Jon Lovitz and Robert Costanzo; writer Alan Zweibel; plus 1,500 guests, including Tom Hanks, Rita Walters, Garry Shandling, Rita Rudner, Charlton Heston, Ron Meyer, Mike Ovitz, Richard Green, David Colden, Elliott Gould, Kevin Pollak, David Paymer and Castle Rock's Martin Shafer, Andrew Scheinman and Glenn Padnick.

Who Wasn't: There wasn't exactly an overflow of execs from the film studio. "It's like Columbia didn't have the money for gas to come," one guest said. "I heard Sony was in trouble; I didn't think it was that bad."

Did She Look Like Fawn Hall?: Beverly Hills regulations are such that neighbors must be petitioned for approval to use the empty lot for a party. "One woman was very concerned that it might be a movie about Oliver North," said event coordinator Bettina O'Mara. "I don't think she would have signed if it was."

The Setting: The lot was elaborately decorated to reflect the film's locales. Alaska had igloos, Paris an Eiffel Tower and Hawaii a volcano. Each setting had a different menu. "It's an existential buffet," an agent said. "You see people walk by with food you want, but you can't find it."

Quoted: Said Lovitz, "The truth is, the first premiere I ever went to I was very excited--walking up the red carpet, the camera crews asking questions, the cameras flashing. Then on the way out, the same photographers were stepping on me to get to somebody else."

Money matters: Between private donations and a contribution from Castle Rock, more than $25,000 was donated to the National Resources Defense Council.

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