In introductory remarks at the world premiere of his “What Planet Are You From?” on Thursday night, Mike Nichols told a funny story about attending a film premiere 32 years ago, the punchline of which was: “I just keep thinking how much better these things are now.”
Better, indeed. Columbia Pictures pulled out all the stops for the event, which began with a packed screening at the Ziegfeld and proceeded by double-decker bus to Cipriani 42nd Street, a former bank building that is as cavernous as an airplane hanger, but much more beautiful.
The champagne flowed as some 500 guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner and the swing tunes of a 14-piece orchestra. Great vases full of pink tulips sat on every table.
The guests made an impressive crowd, particularly the folks seated at the tables up front. Jerry Seinfeld, beside his bride Jessica Sklar, could be overheard complimenting Greg Kinnear on his perf as the film’s scoundrel: “Funny! So funny!” Seinfeld said, shaking his head. Not far away, Barry Diller exchanged pleasantries with Howard Stringer, and next to him Diane Sawyer, wife of director Nichols, chatted with Candice Bergen.
Nichols, meanwhile, talked happily with the pic’s John Goodman. “I had never seen it before an audience before; it was great,” beamed Nichols.
Nearby, star Garry Shandling, deeply tanned from three weeks’ vacation in Hawaii, chatted with Mike Myers, who stood two steps over from Steve Martin.
Also on tap were the pic’s Linda Fiorentino, along with Janeane Garafalo (who has a cameo), Wallace Shawn, Broadway producer Gregory Moser and, showing up late-night, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.