Here at GrandLife we’ve long been fans of Andrew Saffir‘s private film screenings. Known simply as Cinema Society, our offices are consistently giddy when one of his delightfully understated emails comes over the transom, and this week was no exception: “Hi, all, We’re sending you an invite for an evening with Woody Allen (who couldn’t possibly look any more like himself than you think he does) and the cast of his new film To Rome With Love.” The digital ink hadn’t finished drying on our Piaget/Hollywood Reporter sponsored invite before we rocketed back an RSVP, knowing that this would not be a night to miss.
The screening was to take place at the legendary Paris Theater on 58th, a real movie theater – one of the classics – little surprise it was chosen to showcase Woody Allen’s new flick.
Avoiding the curse of the fashionably late (read: fashionably without a seat) we approached the theater as directed at 7:30pm expecting the typical bustle of a well attended event. Immediately we were reminded that a Woody Allen premiere is far from normal. Thanks in no small part to the sheer lace mini dress that Penelope Cruz had painted onto her body, we had to fight our way past legions of photographers, each snapping umpteen million pixels in rapid fire succession.
We made quick use of the popcorn stand, because, you see, half of the entertainment of a good cinema society party is the seating process: “Holy shit it’s Don Draper.” our date exclaimed, subsequently starting a chain reaction of female lust and chatter we’d never seen before: “The things I’d let Jon Hamm do to me…” murmured one seated beauty, immediately echoed by her gal pals.
It turned out that tonight Jon Hamm would only be the appetizer, as a steady stream of who’s who rolled past our periphery: Alec Baldwin, Albert Hammond Jr., Elettra Wiedemann, Terry Richardson and John Legend could all have been mentioned in one breath as they poked about finding their carefully assigned seats. By now we’d plowed through an entire cache of popcorn, fully primed and ready for the screening to begin.
The executive producers had the pleasure of introducing the film by rattling off key players in the production, an impressively long list that prompted the producer to ask, “Have I forgotten anyone?” to which the only other Woody in the audience called out in jest: “Yeah! you forgot Woody Harrelson!!” sending the intimate theater into nervous laughter as the producer checked her note cards to make sure that, in fact, Mr. Harrelson had not been in the credit roll.
Shortly after the curtains went up, and with zero trailers to lead in – we plunged right into the film. We’d love to tell you about the film but at GrandLife we hate to spoil a surprise.
Between you and us though – not to be missed when it hits theaters.
Photo Credit: Nick Hunt – Patrick McMullan/PatrickMcMullan.com