"Leo! Leo LEEOOOO!!!!!" So went the cries when Leonardo DiCaprio hit the red carpet at The Gardener of Eden premiere, and he's not even in it. DiCaprio produced the film, which is directed by his friend Kevin Connolly (Eric from HBO's "Entourage") and stars his friend Lukas Haas (perhaps best known as the boy from Witness despite a lengthy indie resume) and Connolly's "Entourage" sidekick Jerry Ferrara (Turtle). But DiCaprio was the premiere's main draw, as reporters and photographers packed the elongated red carpet. Behind the fenced off press line dozens more moviegoers armed with cell phone cameras angled for shots of their own.
While waiting for Leo, the crowd made do with the rest of the real life entourage, (Adrian Grenier, Gregg Bello) and the supermodels who love them (Anna Beatrice Barros, Petra Nemcova).
The film itself defies easy categorization. It is alternately hysterical and depressing, features moments of disgusting and has an unexpected ending. Haas plays a loser in his mid-20's, living at home in New Jersey, who falls for Erika Christensen's rape victim and decides to be a vigilante for justice. Not an easy film to describe, it's not as weird as it may sound. And Haas may be only leading man with ears more pronounced than those of Will Smith. While he and Christensen are great, perhaps the best part of film is the gold jewelry and sweatsuit-wearing drug dealer played by Giovanni Ribisi, who missed the premiere.
The Gardener of Eden is Connolly's first shot at directing a feature, and he attempted an aura or gravitas by donning a pair of glasses for the abbreviated Q&A after the film. Three awkward questions in, he, Haas and Christensen made a hasty retreat for the film's afterparty at Marquee. His friends run the club.
Christensen, Connolly, DiCaprio and Haas by Getty
For more HuffPost coverage of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, go here.