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Dedication to Spare

Sharp-dressed man Justin Theroux reflects Tuesday at the premiere of his directorial debut Dedication (Photo: Christopher Campbell)

By Christopher Campbell

Justin Theroux knows how to attract attention. Not only did he draw tons of paparazzi and onlookers to the Chelsea West Tuesday evening for the New York premiere of his film Dedication, but he also managed to garner the most talk about what he was wearing. The guy may have even out-dressed his female lead, Mandy Moore.

I can't pretend to know who Theroux was wearing, or even the specifics of his fashion; to me, it was simply a snazzy suit and Fedora. But on the red carpet, he was the focus of many eyeballs and flashbulbs. However, it is important to point out that Moore did in fact look gorgeous, and so saying Theroux overshadowed her is not easy. Of course, Moore does win out in the end; her performance in Dedication is far more interesting than Theroux's direction, which is forgivable because the film is his debut behind the camera. But it is still disappointing considering he's twice worked with David Lynch (in Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire), and the Dedication press notes suggest that Theroux is said to have emulated Lynch's style.

On the red carpet, though, he said otherwise. I asked him if he ever felt the desire to divert from David Bromberg's script and do something weird and Lynchian. "Yeah," he replied. "But you realize you have to be David Lynch in order to do that, which is the sucky part."

The movie is therefore a rather straightforward romantic comedy about a multi-phobic, curmudgeonly children's book writer (Billy Crudup, who skipped the line of print journalists Tuesday) and the new illustrator who has the misfortune to be assigned to work with him. Moore was apparently stretching for the latter role, as she's never, ever been unhappy to work with anyone.

"Honestly, no," she said, without hesitation. "I swear to you."

"What would you do if you had to work with someone you hated?" I pressed.

"I don't know," Moore replied. "I think I would be pretty good at just dealing with it."

"You're just that nice of a person?"

"I don't know if it's that. Maybe I'm just a bit more patient than most?"

At least I can be sure that Moore had no problem being upstaged by her director Tuesday. Or if she did have any problem, she'd be too sweet and patient to show it.

Posted at August 15, 2007 12:15 AM

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