Just Another Party in ‘Paradise’

The Scene: Monday night’s benefit premiere of “Come See the Paradise,” hosted by 20th Century Fox and the ACLU, with an after-party at the Twenty/20 Club in Century City. Writer/director Alan Parker, whose last film, “Mississippi Burning,” garnered protests from minority and civil rights groups, was given an award before the show by the Asian Pacific Women’s Network. The group liked the portrayal of Asian women in “Paradise,” which is about the camps where Japanese Americans were interned during World War II.

The Buzz: “Paradise” opens in three cities Sunday to be eligible for Oscar consideration, but it avoids the Christmastime box office heat by not playing nationwide until mid-January. Industry types at the party discussed their predictions for this year’s crop of holiday films. The gossip on “Kindergarten Cop”: Start counting the money. The gossip on “The Bonfire of the Vanities”: Start holding your nose.

Who Was There: “Paradise” stars Dennis Quaid, Tamlyn Tomita and Sab Shimono; director Parker; producer Robert Colesberry; as well as actors Diane Ladd, Tracy Scoggins and Quaid’s girlfriend, the camera-shy Meg Ryan. More than a dozen stars who had RSVP-ed to the event never made it, which kept the evening low-key.

Fashion Statements: Quaid wore a brown, double-breasted suit with that optional hip-guy accessory, a ponytail, while Tomita looked smashing in a floor-length white gown. “The dress code said business attire,” she explained, “so I said what the hell.”


Chow: A buffet of roast beef sandwiches, shrimp, quiche, quesadillas, pasta and pastries, all good.

Bad Ideas in Recycling: Someone was actually washing the black plastic plates and putting them back on the buffet after use, which turned off a lot of guests. “I’m not going to eat off of this,” complained one horrified man in a power suit, gingerly holding up a dripping plastic plate between two fingers.

Quoted: Asked about working with Parker, Quaid said: “What, you mean sweet-as-nails Parker? I gave him that nickname, and he likes it.”

Triumphs: The party wasn’t crowded. What a concept. Imagine not having to wait for 20 minutes at the buffet and moving effortlessly through a crowd without getting elbows in your ribs, cigarette burns on your cuffs, or publicists or reporters in your face.