On Monday night, Naomi Foner was at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York for a screening of “Very Good Girls,” a coming-of-age story that stars Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning. Foner is a longtime, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, but the film is her directorial debut.
The plot follows two New York City women who are eager to lose their virginity before college but who both fall for the same arty hunk, played by Boyd Holbrook. (Olsen and Holbrook met on the set of the film back in 2012 and are now engaged.)
Foner said she set out to make the film that she wanted to see when she was a young girl, about intelligent and thoughtful women and the struggles they have. “It’s my very first try. I think there are lots of mistakes, but lots of wonderful things in it….You can’t have any kind of relationship without the truth. There’s a critical moment in life when you learn that,” she said.
Foner also happens to be the mother of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, neither of whom appear in the film, but the older of the siblings turned up at the screening to support her mother and her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, who plays a small role.
A low-key after party at the hotel’s basement bar drew the likes of Tali Lennox, Hailey Gates and Stephanie LaCava. “[The film] brought me back to my teenage years,” said Phillip Bloch. “Elizabeth Olsen really stole the scenes for me. She was magnificent. It’s interesting to see who the next Nicole Kidmans will be.”