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2013 April 19

Corn-y Good Fun, At Any Price

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Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, and Zac Efron Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, and Zac Efron
Patrick McMullan
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(NEW YORK) Nascar dreams. Cornfield-ed realities. Family drama. Murder. Quadruple-check, in the case of At Any Price, the Sony Classic Pictures film which had its Cinema Society and Bally-hosted N.Y. premiere last night. (Didn't make the list for the Landmark Sunshine-screened affair? It hits theaters next Friday.) Befitting a flick based in Iowa's sprawling, rippling plains of corn, the film's main man, Dennis Quaid, munched contentedly on popcorn before director Ramin Bahrani introed the cast. "Forget overalls, vegetables, and gardens: that's just not the way Iowa is," said Bahrani, who spent six months in the Midwestern agriculture Mecca. As for working with Quaid, the director "enjoyed turning him upside down, letting him do him, and then letting him loose." Fun times on set, it seems!

And then, there was the Zac Efron factor: yes, he's darker, making poor life decisions, and exhibiting ample mood swings in this silver screen number. But don't fret, those baby blues still look...impossibly pretty. (Just ask the polite but noticeable clusters of young-ish lasses, a klatch of whom were bedecked in sequins, waiting for an iPhone photo opp or a "casual" shoulder-brush. Facebook status update fodder, ladies!) 

Later on at the afterparty, situated at buzzy new-ish resto Clarkson, Quaid elaborated to The Daily just how much he enjoyed the sunny-hued grain. "Love corn! I put it everywhere, even, like, in my hair." Alrighty, Dennis! The actor, whose performance in the film has already garnered ample critical praise, spent most of the bash in the zebra-wallpapered back boîte, along with co-stars like Heather Graham (j'adoring that kinda-backless, eyelet little noir dress, on full display as the actress perched on a raised rail of the animal-printed nook for much of the eve). Bahrani took a mosey around at one point to snag his runaway glass of red vino. Other co-stars included more blondies (such is life in Iowa, right?): Kim Dickens and Maika Monroe.

Also around for a round of burrata-topped fried eggplant morsels, steak tartare-stuffed deviled eggs—brilliant!—plus a teetering tower of profiteroles, and more: Nicole Miller,  Alice + Olivia's Stacey Bendet, Marisa Tomei, Vivica Fox, and Heather Matarazzo. Also, Josh Radnor and  Adrian Greener had a bromance-y photo opp (befitting their small screen fame vehicles: How I Met Your Mother and Entourage, respectively). Word to the brunch-loving wise who've yet to try the Clarkson; don't miss the duck confit and sweet potato hash or lobster bruschetta, and for din, definitely say oui to those deviled eggs.

After a rather placid hour or so, the vibe ratcheted up to a lively, agreeably jostle-y level by 11:15 p.m. Was it the Grey Goose-filled, basil-spiked take on a gimlet? The presence of a former Disney heartthrob? The post-Tribeca Film Festival circuit crowds? Whatever the case, it was a very far stretch from an Iowan cornfield. 
ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV 




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