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‘Stardust’ On the Lot

'Stardust' On the Lot

(Outside the ‘Stardust’ premiere, during red-carpet arrivals.)

Thanks to the hospitality of Ngoc Nguyen and the Paramount Pictures publicity team, I was invited to attend the Sunday evening L.A. premiere of the film, Stardust (opening August 10). Jarren and I headed over to the Paramount lot for the event, which began with a cocktail reception inside the theater lobby. This pre-show entertainment took the place of the scheduled after-party, which was canceled after director Matthew Vaughn had “a death in the family” (it would turn out to be the sudden death of the father of his wife, Claudia Schiffer). After a few drinks, Jarren and I ventured into the theater to watch the show. The film was a really fun time, and a tough one to categorize. It mixes genres, though it’s a fairy tale at heart.

Some will make comparisons to The Princess Bride, and that’s kind of accurate, but Stardust exists in a more fantastic universe. There’s humor and satire, there’s all of those things. But while The Princess Bride was post-modern and intellectual in its absurdity, Stardust injects its humor and satire in a way that feels more natural and whimsical. I recommend Stardust to you, particularly if you have a love of true blue fantasy. After seeing the new Harry Potter film, and in the summer of sequelitis, it was a breath of fresh air to see such an imaginative world that will be foreign to most audiences like me who don’t religiously read Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels (on which it was based).

Stardust is also recommended if you enjoy: solid performances (Robert De Niro won me over), inspired direction, hearty entertainment, and impressive special effects. Oh, and if you wanna know who attended the premiere: stars Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, De Niro, director Vaughn, and writer Gaiman made the rounds. Also turning up: actors/actresses Vinnie Jones, Tatum O’Neal, James King, Kate Mara, Hugh Dancy, and Camryn Manheim, Pfeiffer husband and TV producer David E. Kelley, Paramount president Brad Grey, Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, and more. It was a fairly low-key, but highly enjoyable, evening on the lot.

Otherwise, Jarren and I have enjoyed more time seeing old friends and hanging out in the Hollywood area. Another 48 hours of fun in the sun to go…

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