By Alesandra Dubin Posted February 3, 2009, 3:56 PM EST
LOS ANGELES With Valentine's Day on the horizon, relationship issues are weighing heavily on a lot of minds. And if the topic didn't already loom large, then it certainly did for about 1,200 guests after they sat through a screening of Warner Brothers' New Line release He's Just Not That Into You at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a picture whose plot lines are all wrapped up in questions of love and romance.
So, after the screening, about 700 of the guests got back in their cars for the short drive to Social Hollywood, where the premiere party's theme—appropriately—was relationship issues. A photo booth invited couples and friends to snap their mugs, and tarot card readers and palm readers spoke to guests about their mates' intentions.
Warner Brothers Pictures’ Courtney Saylor, Amanda Lamb, Bonnie Horton, and Troy Williams worked with Chad Hudson Events on the production for the Crest White Strips-sponsored party. Hudson and the team gave the ballroom a Valentine's Day-appropriate look in dark crimson, red, and black. Hudson brought banquettes, bars, topiaries, red linens, and blossoming cherry trees into the mostly blank-canvas space—which already features oversize red chandeliers.
The party also took over the venue's Citrus restaurant, which catered the hearty dinner buffets. And because of the movie's large A-list ensemble cast, reserved tables dotted the space for the talent and their entourages—but, as stars like Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore mingled among the crowd, the party still felt inclusive.
Guests could dictate the flavors in their own desserts at a Cold Stone Creamery station upstairs, away from the central party space, which took over the ballroom and Citrus. “We're using the entire venue in order to make the flow work and not be too crowded, so we're doing things upstairs to bring the guests up. Obviously at all events, people want to be where the talent is, but no matter how beautiful an event is, the flow can screw it up entirely if everyone is crowded into one area.”
So how much did the party for such a talent-heavy release cost? “In light of the current economy, we're trying to do our best to spend less and make it look like we're spending much more,” Hudson said. “The idea was to make it look as expensive as possible.”