Everybody Loves Lucie

After catching a screening of TNT’s remake of Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl last week, Shoptalk headed off to the afterparty at the Four Seasons restaurant, where the film’s stars—Jeff Daniels, Patricia Heaton and Hallie Kate Eisenberg—mingled with notables such as Sigourney Weaver, Richard Benjamin, who directed the flick, and Simon himself.

Shoptalk approached the lovely Lucie Arnaz and her charming husband, Laurence Luckinbill. Luckinbill, who voiced TV spots in the ’70s for TWA, American Express, Bayer and Bankers Trust, talked about advertising and the recent trend toward product placement, which he thinks is OK if it’s subtle. “If you had a stud in a porn film wearing a Trojan and you could see the label, that would be bad,” he offered. Then, with an intrigued look toward the stage, where Hootie and the Blowfish were performing, he asked, “Do you smell hashish?” His wife later chatted amiably with Shoptalk as if we were a long-lost pal, touching on everything from the couple’s recent out-of-town theater projects, the presidential race, their three grown children and the numerous requests she receives from advertisers to use her parents’ images.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were featured in Apple’s “Think different” work a few years ago. Though Philip Morris was the main sponsor of I Love Lucy, Arnaz said she has repeatedly said no to tobacco companies eager to capitalize on her parents’ smoking habits. “If they were alive today, they wouldn’t think it appropriate,” she said.