Friday, April 12, 2024

“Great Gatsby” Party Where No One Will Talk Or Mingle With Crowd


Leonardo DiCaprio could learn a thing or two from Jay Gatsby about throwing parties. Last night’s “Great Gatsby” party at the Top of the Standard was obnoxious and ridiculous, a waste of time for anyone who wanted to be home watching “Mad Men.” The party followed a screening at the Museum of Modern Art for celebrities who either didn’t make the premiere at Lincoln Center or were suddenly in town to attend Anna Wintour’s daft “Punk” party tonight at the Met. Director Baz Luhrmann and actress Carey Mulligan attended and introduced the film, but Leo couldn’t have been bothered– he was absent totally from MoMA. And Tobey Maguire was simply AWOL without explanation.

“Gatsby”–which cost at least $150 million– opens Friday in a crowded field with “Iron Man 3” booming and “Star Trek” looming.

Then to the party, where Di Caprio’s p.r. decided the Reserved section of the club wasn’t reserved enough. So he moved it to the back corner of the room, and stationed large bodyguards at the entrance. Still, the hoi polloi could see in to the space, which is like a big sunken living room facing windows, where Luhrmann chatted with Oliver Stone, Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry hung out with Kristen Wiig, and Mulligan made small talk with someone. A crowd formed including the photos who were hired for the night. Everyone gaped and stared. One journo observed: “I feel like we’re watching animals in the zoo.”

I didn’t feel like playing the Lou Grant surprise birthday game last night. That’s the one where Mary keeps asking Mr. Grant if certain individuals may be allowed entrance. “You know Rhoda. Can Rhoda come in?”

Ironically, a few stars either didn’t want to go into the celeb pen or weren’t invited. David Schwimmer and Michael Shannon, who’ve been promoting “The Iceman,” remained in the public area and seemed quite contented. Schwimmer introduced me to his lovely wife, Zoe, and was a lot of fun. Oliver Stone actually hung out by the bar for most of the night. Perry commanded her own section, with no restrictions, in a far corner until she was invited into LeoLand.

Newly minted Tony nominee Billy Magnussen, from “Vanya and Sonia,” stopped in and had a glass of Champagne to toast his cast. Cuba Gooding, Jr., also on leave for the night from his Broadway show, “The Trip to Bountiful,” came by with “Game Change” and “The Butler” writer Danny Strong. Dan Stevens, of “Downton Abbey” fame, introduced me to his wife. Russell Simmons, looking a little dazed by the disorganization, wandered about and left.

Two very tall, lithe models from Sweden, real beauties, said hello in unison.

“Did you like the movie?” I asked.

“What movie?” they said.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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