‘Polly’ prods laughs

Preemgoers unafraid of risky business

HOLLYWOOD — Universal’s comedy cabal turned out Monday for a movie about a subject near and dear to Hollywood suits: risk avoidance.

“Along Came Polly” writer-director John Hamburg said the actual inspiration for the tale — which starts with a risk-assessment analyst cuckolded on his honeymoon — came on a vacation to St. Bart’s with his girlfriend.

“I observed all these French men and thought, what would be the worst thing that could happen?” he said at the Highlands after-party as former collaborators Jay Roach and Tom Shadyac mingled nearby.

Hamburg, who directed indie pic “Safe Men” before scripting “Meet the Parents” and “Zoolander,” considers filmmaking in general a risky business. “The studio system is full of risk and the indie world is full of risk,” he said.

Co-star Debra Messing could see why the pic might resonate with those toiling in Hollywood, but she drew a larger lesson. “Just the whole thing about risk-taking and consequences of taking the safe route, in business and even more so in the personal life, I loved that,” she said.

Meanwhile, U’s Scott Stuber brushed aside talk of risk aversion and joint studio productions to point out that Hamburg’s track record with the studio made him a good bet and one “we’ll be happy to invest in for 20 years.”

Also on hand: U’s Ron Meyer, Stacey Snider; Jersey Films producers Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, newly returned from maternity leave; pic’s Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston with their spouses, plus Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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