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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

A Hollywood Premiere That Left Them Speechless

September 12, 1996|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Tuesday's premiere of Jersey Films and Fine Line's "Feeling Minnesota" at almost-the-Chinese Theater. It's not often a film opens in the landmark's nondescript annex instead of the ornate main room. It's kind of like being invited to China and then landing in Taiwan. A party followed at the House of Blues.

Who Was There: Co-stars Keanu Reeves, Cameron Diaz and Vincent D'Onofrio; director Steven Baigelman and producer Danny DeVito. Plus 800 guests, including Jennifer Tilly; Tori Spelling; Gail O'Grady; John McGinley; David Spade; Brad Krevoy; Cary Elwes; studio execs Bob Shaye, Ruth Vitale, Chris Pula and Mike De Luca; and a statuesque woman at whom the paparazzi shouted, "Hey, Heather!" They bombarded her with photo flashes and the publicists took bets on whether she was a Playmate or porn star.

The Buzz: It's safe to assume most of the audience thought the film, which was probably a black comedy, was, as they say, "not a fully realized vision." Guests struggled for words. A typical reaction was a shake of the head, a twisted open-mouthed smile with rolling eyes, and then the words "Uh, I dunno."

Quoted: Producer DeVito said the film is "the story of two brothers who fall in love with Cameron Diaz. It's a dysfunctional family. It's in Minnesota, and it's really a lot of fun." Reeves said he did the film because "I liked the script. I liked the characters. I liked the dialogue. It's a different film from the script to what it's realized."

Dress Mode: The post-Labor Day transition from summer to fall brought out much confusion. There were '70s retro "it was ugly then, it's ugly now" ensembles, flashes of '60s bohemian and utilitarian '90s after-work.

Chow: Only in a great country like America could a buffet line offer jambalaya, garlic mashed potatoes, corn bread and made-to-order sushi. Multiculturalism has never had a more shining moment.

Trends: One guest, who describes himself as "a colorful night-life figure," said he thinks Hollywood is finally ready for a 12-step program aimed at overacting. "The first step," he said, "would be the actor admitting his powerlessness over overacting." But he has doubts as to whether it's a curable condition.

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