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INTO THE NIGHT / RSVP

It Was the Night of the Obscure Stars

October 20, 1995|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Tuesday's premiere of Gramercy's "Mallrats" at the Universal City Cineplex Odeon. A party (part of an MTV special) followed at B.B. King's Blues Club on the nearby CityWalk. "The film is about guys who have nothing to do with their lives except hang out in malls and play Sega," said star Shannen Doherty. "There is absolutely no message. It's kind of brain candy, but the dialogue is very witty and sophisticated. I hope people don't pawn it off as a teen-age movie."

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Who Was There: The film's stars, Doherty, Jason Lee and Jeremy London; writer/director Kevin Smith; producers Sean Daniel, Jim Jacks and Scott Mosier; plus 1,200 guests, including Pauly Shore with Tracey Ross, Julianne Moore, Doug Bady, Casey Silver, Zanne Devine, Ann Busby and Gramercy President Russell Schwartz. Also on hand were a slew of young actors (Kristin Davis, Marissa Ribisi, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason London, Jennifer Rubin) that only the paparazzi seemed to recognize. In many ways, it was the Night of the Obscure Stars.

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Buzz: That Lee, a champion skateboarder doing his first film, has major movie-star screen presence.

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Major Media Focus: That '90s poster girl for affluent delinquency, Doherty. The actress who single-handedly bestowed pariah status on the name Brenda said she's been "stabilizing my personal life and being happy." She didn't seem to miss doing "Beverly Hills, 90210." When asked if anyone from the TV show was coming to the premiere, she replied: "They're not here. I wouldn't expect them to be."

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Money Matters: Tickets were $50, and more than $45,000 was raised for Rock the Vote's Education Fund.

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Observed: Shore, seated at a table with voter registration forms, flirting with a young woman. Shore said he wanted to register her to vote. The woman said she couldn't; she was a Swedish undocumented resident. Shore's line was: "That's even better."

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Quoted: The film's writer/director, Smith: "We wanted to make an '80s movie, like 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' or 'Animal House.' That type of raunchy, R-rated teen comedy hasn't been around for a while. We wanted to see if one could float in these PC times."

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Fashion Necessity: What one guest called "the shoe of the tragically hip"--Air Walkers. The Hindenberg didn't have as much gas and canvas as these people had on their feet.

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Clue to the Film's Demographic Appeal: In the theater's men's room were two small airline-size Smirnoff vodka bottles someone had apparently used to enhance a soft drink.

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