The Scene: Wednesday's premiere of New Line's "Boogie Nights" at Mann's Chinese Theater. The epic, tragicomic exploration of the late-'70s San Fernando Valley adult-film scene was described by co-star Ricky Jay as "the porn 'Magnificent Ambersons.' "
Who Was There: The film's stars, Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg (a.k.a. rapper Marky Mark), Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle and William Macy; writer / director Paul Thomas Anderson; plus 1,500 guests including Jodie Foster, Tim Burton, Courtney Love with Edward Norton, Fran Drescher, Ben Stiller, Allan Carr, Steve Stabler and Greg Gorman (who fondly recalled being paid $250 to shoot John Holmes in two 1971 16mm porn "loops").
Why They Came: Within Hollywood, this is one of the year's most eagerly awaited films. Even the less-than-impressed called it a tour de force for Anderson. "This is all about discovering the next new hot young director," said one industry savant.
The Buzz: Love / hate opinions. "Genius," "Exhausting," "Bold" and "They did this for $15 million!?" were among the comments. Most considered the 2 1/2-hour length excessive. But who ever thought you'd live to hear the words "Marky Mark," "Burt Reynolds" and "Oscar nomination" in the same sentence?
Adult Vocabulary Moment: In his pre-screening remarks, Anderson used an obscene seven-letter adverb dozens of times. "This is so [adverb here] great!" One development executive remarked, "God help us if this movie wins an Oscar and he has to give a speech."
The Party: The Hollywood Colonnade was done over, said designer Wendy Creed, "so that every room represents an element of a 1977 porn star's milieu." This included a Sherman Oaks living room with sectional Ultrasuede sofas and a tufted plush velvet buffet; a pool deck with Jacuzzi, five actors in swimsuits; a disco club with black banquettes, a neon dance floor and "roller girls" taking Polaroids; a "drug den" with faux leopard fur carpet, black lights and bean bag chairs; and a "movie set" with pink carpet, gold wallpaper and a king-size bed upon which guests could have their pictures taken with two scantily clad "porn stars."
The Comment: In the "movie set" room, one British woman said, "It is just like a '70s disco: crowded, noisy and you end up in bed with someone very unsuitable."
Cultural Insight: When one guest questioned the concept of Burt Reynolds as a "Leave It to Beaver"-porn-king-father-figure, another said, "It could happen, but only in the Valley."
Overheard: "How did this film ever get an 'R' rating?"
* MOVIE REVIEW: F1