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OSCARS 2000 | DreamWorks

At Spago, Everything Comes Up Roses

March 28, 2000|BOOTH MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The DreamWorks "American Beauty" bash at Spago Beverly Hills cornered the market on Oscars and red roses, which blanketed the ceiling, burst out of centerpieces and were strung in garlands and worn by party guests.

"This night makes our company, because this was a very risky movie. We didn't expect it to go beyond 250 screens," gushed head gardener Steven Spielberg.

David Geffen arrived early, possibly hoping to dodge press inquiries about a certain thorn in his side, Tom King's "The Operator." He was overheard saying: "There's this book out right now that makes me look like the biggest scumbag."

Arriving closer to the end of the rose bowl was Alan Ball, who took the Oscar for best screenplay. "I had this whole speech written," he said, producing a typed sheet. "But I forgot to take it out of my pocket. Being on stage was surreal, like an out-of-body experience."

Also at the soiree was cancer patient Matthew Hunter, 14, from Dallas. Attending the Academy Awards and the DreamWorks party were part of a wish granted him by the Children's Wish Foundation. His overall impression? "It's pretty sweet."

The "Buds": After last year's funeral for "Saving Private Ryan," it was time to part-ay. No one had to mention Miramax by name; the rose garden romp was clearly a victory for the home team.

Petal Pushers: Team players Spielberg, Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg; "American" beauties Mena Suvari, Thora Birch and Wes Bentley; Kevin Spacey with girlfriend Diane Derain and Peter Gallagher. Also spotted: Kevin Pollack, Roberto Benigni, Val Kilmer and Haley Joel Osment with a cheese pizza made especially for him by Wolfgang Puck.

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening were no-shows at the floral fest, but they were expecting a delivery of their own. For a girl's name, may we suggest Rose?

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