Last night I went to what turned out to be a supersmall and superfancy screening of Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers." I was ready to show up in jeans and a jacket and my friend said: "You better wear a suit, babe, this is a serious night." It was.
"Top Chef" Host Padma Lakshmi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Toni Collette, Barry Diller, Laura Linney, Aidan and Lizzie Quinn, "Sex and the City" braintrust Michael Patrick King with Adriana Trigiani, and Lauren Bacall were all there to see the film. The seats next to ours had a nametag on them that said "Streep" but the Dame never showed. That is what I call serious.
In attendance from the film were Ryan Philippe (with wife Reese Witherspoon), Jesse Bradford, John Slattery and my dear friend John Benjamin Hickey. The flick is really good and tells the story behind one of the most famous photos ever told -- the six men raising the flag in battle at Iwo Jima. It features standout performances from the guy who plays the Indian (I irresponsibly can't remember his name), Slattery, and Hickey. Also Ryan Phillippe is literally wearing a sailorsuit to match his babyface for the entire film, which ain't awful to watch for 90 minutes.
The film ends with everyone in the audience in tears. This being a premieresque screening, people stayed for the entirety of the credits. It's always weird determining the appropriate time to exit a movie premiere. Can one stand when the credits enter the sound mixer category? The craft service apparatus? This audience sat still for the entire credit roll. Appropriate, but zzzzzzzz.
We hit the dinner following at the Soho Grand, where a DJ playing "Billie Jean" set the tone for the soiree. I don't think the DJ had seen the same film that the 50 of us had, because he might've altered his 80s dance hits selections for the night. I was ready to vibe out to some Dinah Shore after the film, but that was not to be. We had a good time anyway, and when "Hung Up" came on I surrendered myself to the DJ and realized it was just fine to celebrate on top of a roof looking at midtown and the (lit orange) Empire State Building. It's what Clint would have wanted, I told myself. Not to mention the men of Iwo Jima. They certainly would have wanted us dancing to Madonna following our engagement in their story.
Laura Linney told me of her obsession with Tim Gunn and I went on to some heavy Runway convos with the Slatterys and Quinns. I was also told a story about the woman who was injured at 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade when she was hit by a lamppost felled by an errant balloon. Remember her? She is the SAME woman whose apartment the Yankee flew his plane into last week. Yes, it's true! The Daily News reported it last week; see here.
Though there was food, we split at midnight for some classic late night dining at Florent. Our fave Florent gal invited us to the Halloween dinner, themed "Hex on the City" celebrating the Hex that "Sex and the City" put on our neighborhood when they made it so popular on their show. You take the good, you take the bad.... You get me?
By the way. I ran into Florent who tells me that Legendary drag diva Flotilla de Barge, "the queen of large," is out of jail -- for anyone keeping score.