The balls were in James Marsden’s court on Wednesday night.
The actor was standing poolside on the roof deck of Jimmy at the James Hotel following the premiere of his latest movie, “The D Train.” Marsden’s character in the movie is the face of Banana Boat, and the sunscreen brand had brought three inflatable beach balls to the party. “I think this is one of those parties where everybody’s going to be naked in the pool,” Marsden, suited in plaid, said.
Fully clothed around the perimeter of the pool was a crowd that included costar Kathryn Hahn, Mischa Barton, Alan Thicke, America Ferrera, and Paul Haggis, who had caught an earlier Cinema Society-sponsored screening of the film along with Heidi Klum and Vito Schnabel.
The off-beat comedy centers around the relationship between two former classmates on the opposite ends of the coolness spectrum, Dan and Oliver (Jack Black and Marsden), who reconnect in advance of their 20-year high school reunion. And reconnect quite literally — their characters end up getting sexually intimate in a scene, which proved to be fodder for the crowd at the party. “Dude, can we make out?” a guest asked Marsden before congratulating him on the movie.
“It’s rare that you read a script that takes you by surprise,” Marsden said. “It feels like everything’s been done in the comedy world, and this movie was something a little different.”
Away from the pool, Black was ensconced in a corner booth, Negroni in hand. “It was a very funny script. I laughed my ass off,” he said. While Black plays the unpopular guy in the film, he admitted that his own 20-year high school reunion in L.A. wasn’t so bad. “You have to go to your 20,” he said. “It was fun. It wasn’t filled with drama and pathos like ‘The D Train,’ but there was some anxiety. It takes you back to you high school days of insecurity. For sure.”