‘Vegas’: Surprisingly enjoyable

Last week, Anuja and I went a screening of “What Happens in Vegas,” the new romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. We were able to enter and get seated before the general public (none of that waiting-in-line crap for me!); we sat in a row that had two reserved seats on one end. Eventually, a man and woman sat down in those two seats; a minute later, I heard someone in the row behind me (I think they were part of a group of employees from the publicity company) mention something like “That’s the screenwriter.” The GP filed in maybe 20 minutes later; the man of the reserved-seats pair went down to the front to address the crowd, and surprise! Turns out the woman he was sitting next to is the film’s screenwriter! Her name is Dana Fox, and she also wrote “The Wedding Date” a few years back. She said a quick couple of words, and then said she’d do a Q&A after the screening. Next up…the movie.

So I actually liked the movie. Probably not Saturday-night liked, but definitely matinee-liked. The situations were pretty predictable, and it was cheesy in the usual romantic-comedy way, but I thought Ashton and Cameron had great chemistry, and their sidekicks (Lake Bell and Rob Corddry) were really hilarious. It totally revived my crush on Ashton..

After the movie, Anuja had to run off (her work shift starts at 4 a.m.), but I stuck around for the Q&A, as did maybe 1/4 of the audience. Dana Fox was really funny and personable, and also surprisingly open. Some of the interesting tidbits that came out of the session:

• She initially took the script to Vince Vaughn’s people. They were like “Uh.. no.” She then went to Adam Sandler’s team. After months of pitching, she finally got the final “Yes” from him. Then she found out he was tied to Sony, and she (for whatever reason) had to first work through/with Fox. That’s how she got Ashton on board. (Personally, I think Ashton worked out much better.)

• Demi Moore occasionally came to the set, and Dana said that surprisingly, Demi and Ashton seemed like a really solid, loving couple.

• Ashton had a scholarship to attend college at M.I.T., but then “something happened and he lost it.” I did some research online.. turns out he was caught breaking into his high school and was convicted of third-degree burglary. He was going to study engineering. (I definitely feel better about my crush after finding out he’s got some brains.)

• Though Vince Vaughn turned down “Vegas,” he and Dana are now working on a comedy titled “Male Doula.” It was Vince’s idea. According to Wikipedia, a doula is “an experienced, non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care, during childbirth and during the postpartum period.” I think the idea came somehow from Vince’s real-life experiences??

Anyhow, that’s been all the excitement I’ve had recently. Now I’m finishing up some work before finishing up the day by watching the “Bachelor” finale. It’s gonna be the Most. Romantic. Finale. EVER.

P.S.: It’s a couple minutes into “The Bachelor,” and they’ve just promo’d “The Bachelorette,” which will star one of the “finalists” from last year’s “Bachelor.” “The Bachelorette” starts next Monday. Wow. It’s not like these series draw in gads of viewers or anything, so I don’t know why there’re airing them back to back. ABC must be strapped for cash..


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