“Is this like, an Eighties/Studio54 theme?” one partygoer asked aloud at Buddakan on Tuesday night, while lifting up one of the small plastic bags (of a size favored by fashion retailers for spare buttons or narcotics dealers for distribution) littered across a banquette table. “Has someone dealt a large amount of drugs here?!”
Clearly, the partygoer in question had not seen the night’s entertainment: Neil Burger’s “Limitless,” starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. The movie depicts the zero-to-hero transformation of a down-on-his-luck copywriter (Cooper) who consumes a “smart drug” that enables him to use 100 percent of his brain, while the un-medicated rest of humanity uses only 10 percent. He is transformed into a sort of suave super-human version of himself, basically a smarter version of Cooper’s character from “The Hangover,” to less hilarious ends. The small bags were filled with small, transparent pills, which turned out to be some sort of mint, the consumption of which did not make anyone any smarter.
Abbie Cornish, Cooper, De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower were all present at the film’s opening, hours previous at Union Square’s Regal theater. Stacey Bendet commiserated with a very-pregnant Alyssa Milano, who was eager to support De Niro, a fellow cast-member of the upcoming picture “New Year’s Eve.”
“I’m excited to see [“Limitless]!’ Milano said with a smile. “With Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, how could it not be good?!”
Johnny Whitworth, Oliver Platt, Stella Schnabel, Calvin Klein, Jason Bateman, Caroline Winberg, Gincarlo Esposito and Tiki Barber all were present, and later piled into a party-supplied bus pointed to Buddakan, which had served as a location for the film.
Russell Simmons was on hand at the restaurant, though a bit more interested in discussing Bikram yoga with a female partygoer than the film of the hour. James Lipton held court at a corner table, while Rachel Roy greeted Jeremy Kost and Justin Long.
Cooper was consistently besieged by well-wishers and flashbulbs. At one point, Patricia Clarkson sauntered over to the actor and grabbed his face with both hands, pulling him towards her by the ears. The windmilling arms of a helpful publicist blocked her salutation from camera flashes, though it appeared to be congratulatory, if a bit close.