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September 2016

Mother of All Premieres

By Jennifer Wright

A few months ago I attended a preview screening of a movie called Motherhood. I loved it, and said as much here (http://www.askmelissa.com/index.php/out-on-the-scene/P21/). So I was thrilled when the producer, Jana Edelbaum of Ideal Partners Film Fund, invited me to the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Prior to the showing, the cast and crew and fortunate guests enjoyed a delightful dinner at The Greenhouse at The Sky Lodge which had been decorated in a manner reminiscent to the child’s birthday party scene in the movie. Red balloons and streamers abounded, as did bowls full of Skittles and Twizzlers (in addition to the rather more sophisticated menu of heirloom tomato salad, pan fried Utah trout and sautéed chicken breast). The meal finished with cupcakes accented by giant 6 candles – another reference to the sixth birthday in the movie.

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I was not seated at the same table as Uma Thurman or Minnie Driver or even Jodie Foster (though when I saw Jodie Foster pull that entire plate of cupcakes over to keep to herself, I fell a little bit in love with her.) I was, however, seated next to Javier Picayo who played the angry young man in Party City who mocks Uma Thurman’s character for having a cell phone conversation right in front of him. In real life he was not at all angry, and brought his proud father along as his plus one. He grew up in the West Village, about three blocks from where the movie was filmed, and we both agreed that the clichés ran fairly true to form. The talented actor was recently in the The Farnsworth Invention! on Broadway with Hank Azaria who he said was “amazing to work with.” I’m including his picture below, so you can recognize him when he becomes famous.

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I’d also like to extend a very special thank you to Missoni who supplied the party with absolutely fantastic gift bags. They not only gave diners a $100 gift certificate to their stores, but also a beautiful gold bracelet. 360 Vodka also provided a gift for every guest. Clayton Chase from WireImages took my picture holding said bottle. Here it is:

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Having my picture taken right after Minnie Driver was photographed made me feel like a celebrity, until I realized that I was listed only as “guest” on WireImage.  That might be because I am not famous. Then I remembered that it didn’t matter because I could hang out with people who actually were famous following the screening at the party at St. Ives. The writer/director of the film Katherine Dieckmann mentioned that the husband in Motherhood was based on her own husband, to which another woman replied that must be wonderful, as she’d never had a relationship with someone who was as supportive as the husband in the movie. The shiny domed Anthony Edwards replied that she had clearly never been married to a bald man.

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Meanwhile Minnie Driver and Uma Thurman discussed their own children, and how becoming mothers had impacted the roles they took. (It’s harder to travel and promote movies with children – though the young Ms. Edwards seemed to be enjoying herself.) Various people noted that Uma’s character was very different than some of her bombshell roles in the past, and Katherine Dieckmann noted that the movie is in part about how people evolve and change over time. Still, upon seeing how beautiful Uma Thurman is in person you have to wonder how much make-up was required to make her look haggard for the film. Katherine Dieckmann remarked that she didn’t think that Uma ever looked bad in the movie, but that at one point she was absolutely terrified that her character bore some resemblance to Sarah Palin. Fortunately, she noted, that’s not a concern any longer.

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Meanwhile Minnie Driver entertained guests, who included James Gandolfini, with songs. I had rather foolishly never known she was a singer and was thrilled by how wonderfully she performed.

Ultimately, the movie is about making choices, but when it comes out in theaters hopefully seeing Motherhood, with its supremely talented and charming cast, will prove to be a very easy decision

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