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Romance hones ‘Cruelty’s’ edge

Film duo lauded for 'old-fashioned Hollywood blitz'

“What it’s really about is two people who think they can outsmart love,” producer Brian Grazer said after the unspooling of “Intolerable Cruelty” Tuesday at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Well-wishers swarmed the Imagine chairman in the Acad lobby, thanking him for making the screwball comedy. But it was he who was grateful: “I’m happy to work with (the Coen brothers) once in my lifetime,” he said.

Dubbed “the closest thing to Cary Grant in contempo cinema” in Variety‘s review, star George Clooney was asked why he doesn’t make more comedies. “I make lots of comedies,” quipped the gravel-voiced thesp. ” ‘Solaris’ was a comedy.”

Geoffrey Rush, who had just seen the pic for the first time, lauded co-stars Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones for putting on “an almost old-fashioned Hollywood blitz on the media” at the film’s Venice fest launch. “They’re both so glamorous, and yet kind of screwy,” he said of their perfs.

Among those sharing the laughs were director Joel Coen and producer Ethan Coen, who also co-wrote with scribes Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone; pic’s Cedric the Entertainer, Edward Herrmann, Billy Bob Thornton, Julia Duffy, Paul Adelstein and Irwin Keyes; U execs Ron Meyer, Stacey Snider, Scott Stuber and Mary Parent; plus guests Nick Clooney, Michael Douglas, Tom Jones, John Salley, Catherine O’Hara, Henry Simmons, Bonnie Hunt, Mimi Rogers and Joel Silver.

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