The world premiere of “Crazy, Stupid, Love” last night featured free popcorn, bottled water and some eye-catching outfits.
One backless number drew quite a few glances inside the Ziegfeld Theatre, where the snazziest thing to look at is usually the red velvet on the walls.
Guests included theater director and playwright George C. Wolfe, a slimmed-down Jonah Hill, and fashion and music mogul Russell Simmons, who will honor Mary J. Blige during a benefit at his house in the Hamptons on July 30 for his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
The stars arrived in a little parade: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and the ethereal Analeigh Tipton channeling Audrey Hepburn with a tiara and a taupe A-line dress. They took seats toward the back of the center section.
The lights went down and John Legend’s “Save Room” provided music as the first of several love stories began to unfold.
Moore and Carell are long married but estranged, their son loves the babysitter, and Gosling is the sexy single man who helps Carell get his game back.
On the red carpet, Moore described the film as “more of a dramedy than a romantic comedy,” and Carell called it “moving.” The moral of the story, delivered brilliantly in a middle-school auditorium: Everyone has a soul mate worth fighting for.
That’s an old-fashioned message that left everyone in an old-fashioned good mood. Though crammed in the aisles, the stars patiently posed for iPhone and Blackberry photographs with guests. Gosling in particular behaved as movie stars should.
When he left the theater, at around 10 p.m., greeted by peals of high-pitched screams from fans across the street, he smiled, raised his arm and waved as he walked slowly, like a prince or a politician, to his car.
The after-party was at Tao. Outside it was Tipton’s turn to pose with fans, and her big smile never dimmed. Inside, the midtown-Manhattan restaurant’s giant Buddha looked down on an auspicious movie launch. The film arrives in theaters on July 29.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)