If you had merely walked by the front of Gotham’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema, you would’ve been none the wiser. But packed into a stuffy basement, press and celebs shook hands July 15 for a special screening of Lionsgate and Roadside Attraction’s “Girl Most Likely.”
Like sardines taking the 6 train uptown, members of the fourth estate dripped and drooled, clamoring for shots and sound bites in a room that felt hotter than summer itself. Tensions were high: “Everybody needs to move six feet back!” yelled a photog.
“There’s a chair behind me,” said another.
“Well, move it! And, you guys, squeeze in. We need you to squeeze in.”
This last directive was fired off at Matt Dillon and Darren Criss, who were floating on the outskirts of a photo op. But the stars of the pic — we don’t know how they did it — looked flawless (or sweatless, rather) rounding the corners of the indoor carpet with smiles and grace.
Maybe they were doing what they do best, as scribe-thesp Michelle Morgan revealed that she, too, was actually feeling quite hot. But it wasn’t just the swelter of the room that was getting to people, the pic, which follows a failed New York playwright who has a mental breakdown and is forced to move back in with her more-than-embarrassing mother, was also bringing back painful memories for some.
“I lived with my mom and she ended up with a boyfriend, who was constantly a point of conflict for me and my mom,” Morgan said, wincing. “There are only a couple scenes in the movie that are similar to real life — the scene where the mom is getting spanked (that actually happened) and a scene where (the protag) gets in a slight car accident.”
“Someone once started a fight with me in a pizza parlor — and we almost came to blows. Unbeknownst to me, my mother and father were eating there, too, and so my mother jumped out of her seat and started yelling and screaming that the other guy started the fight,” Pulcini said. “It was very much like this movie actually — I kind of stepped back and let her finish. But I was mortified.”
“His mom’s tough,” quipped Berman. “I’d be scared of her.”
“It was in a Jersey pizza place, too.”
“My father was a city councilman and so when I was graduating from high school my father got up and gave a speech,” Berman said. “He called me up on stage and singled me out as his daughter-graduate. But he was making the speech as a city councilman. It was definitely the most embarrassed I’ve ever been.”
The star of the film, Kirsten Wiig, handed it to her mom, saying she didn’t have too many epic moments of maternal mortification.
“My mom drove me to school once in her pajamas, though,” Wiig said with a grin. “But we got a flat tire one time, so I had to run down the street — like very close to the school.”
Many interviews and photo ops later, attendees, including Jenna Fischer and David Cross, moseyed their ways into the theater for the movie. Afterward, the party went up and across town to the Hotel Americano, for rooftop drinks and confabs.
It might not have been the best night for an outdoor party, as evidenced by droves of people camping out next to stand-up fans, sipping on ice-cold vodka gimlets and eyeing a four-foot-six-inch-deep pool.
Said one attendee to another: “Watch out for the pool — don’t fall in.”
“I’d be OK with it.”