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R S V P / INTO THE NIGHT

If Congress Had Celebrity Guest Stars . . .

October 05, 1994|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Monday's premiere of TriStar's "Only You" at the Motion Picture Academy. A reception preceded the screening and a sit-down dinner at the Beverly Hilton followed. Because the evening benefited the Washington-based Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, a pack of "Congressional aide-types," as one guest called them, was on hand. "Same kind of party," noted one veteran of D.C. schmoozing, "different kind of hangers-on."

Who Was There: The film's stars, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr., and director Norman Jewison; among the 1,000 guests at the screening (500 at the dinner) were Ethel Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo (who's pregnant with twin girls), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Morgan Freeman, Ken Wahl, Bernard Lafferty, Melinda and John Watson, Don Klosterman, Beth Swofford, and studio execs Alan Levine, Marc Platt, Stacey Snider and Mark Canton.

Quoted: Co-star Bonnie Hunt, commenting on the synergy between D.C. and L.A. said, "Politicians do well in Hollywood; actors do well in Washington."

Audience Review: An ecstatic response. " 'Moonstruck' set in Italy," was a typical comment. Director James Brooks said the film had "joy, confidence and ease." "Italy is just a wonderful background for romantic stories," Jewison said. "Shakespeare must have felt that because he set many of his romantic comedies there."

Best Comeback: As he passed through the conga line of television crews outside the theater, Downey was asked, apropos of nothing, if drug testing should be mandatory for actors when they sign film contracts. "No, but I think it should be for you tonight," he said without missing a beat.

Money Matters: More than $100,000 was raised, with most earmarked for RFK-LA, a drug and gang intervention program in East L.A.; $30,000 will go to an RFK Human Rights Award to imprisoned Chinese pro-democracy activists Wei Jing Sheng and Ren Wan Ding. "Our priority," said Memorial executive director Kennedy Cuomo, "is to help these two courageous men get out of jail."

Underlying Theme: The studio, which had a bad year, just suffered a wave of firings. One observer said:"The only question is, are the lucky ones those who get out, or those who stay?"

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