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When Sony Goes Phoney

February 02, 2003|MARK EHRMAN

INVITED TO: Sony Ericsson Hollywood Premiere Party at 1735 Vine St. with performance by the Used.

ANSWERING THE CALL: Sony Ericsson gets into the gadget party game with this inaugural bash showcasing various products, including the P800--its latest, picture-taking, data-storing, global-reaching mobile phone--at the Palace, the Hollywood rock club and party venue. "This is the start of the new year, we don't know what's going to happen around the world, and it's our responsibility to celebrate, you know?" goes the noble sentiment from 007 villain Rick Yune. For Samuel L. Jackson, it's about corporate support. "I work for Sony, and I got a lot of Sony products," he says. But for most of the names worthy of mention, the lure is not what they can do for Sony, but what Sony can do for them. "Keep it real," urges "Scrubs" actor Donald Faison. "Why is everyone here? Free stuff" (for the lucky celebs who receive Ericsson phones the next day). "Circuit City doesn't even have [the P800] yet," Faison adds. "Once you walk out of here, you're an elitist."

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION: "You don't think about taking pictures with a stupid cell phone, but it is actually pretty interesting," insists film actor Kip Pardue. "I have a small digital camera, but I never take it with me because my cell phone's so big." Hmm. Speaking of pictures, in a room peopled by the likes of Pardue's fellow "Rules of Attraction" player Jessica Biel and party inevitables Thora Birch and "That '70s Show" cast members, the evening's biggest flashbulb-popper is Kelly Osbourne. "I didn't even know this was going on," says the MTV reality-show darling, revealing a tongue stained red from Creme Savers. Osbourne's here on account (and on the arm) of boyfriend Bert McCracken, lead singer of the Used, a band few of the other guests have heard of. "I like Britney Spears and that kind of music," chirps famously famous Paris Hilton, who nevertheless makes for the theater with sister Nicky, only to be stopped by security on account of her cigarette. Mlle. Paris drops it from between her privileged fingers, spears the burning tip with her pointy heel and, with a haughty shake of her blond tresses, heads inside.

Celeb Quotient: 1

A raft of A-listers doesn't show.

Must be some kind of disconnect.

Wow Factor: 1

An alt-rock band and a product demo, you say? Wow, hold the phone!

Grazing Level: 1

Sushi rolls, risotto balls and bite-sized

empanadas. Great . . . now would somebody

please call Domino's?

Rating Scale:

1=ho-hum 4=yowza

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