Notes From Sundance, Take 1: Just Off The Plane

Sundance Film Festival excitement was throbbing way before I hit Utah. As usual, the airline overbooked, and they wanted passengers to relinquish seats in exchange for travel vouchers. As usual, it was a hard sell. None of the passengers I spoke to volunteered. My friends and I resisted the temptation of sweet free travel vouchers so we could all get here together. Half of us headed for the ski lift, but I raced to the wait list line for a chance at a miracle ticket to see the premiere of “Howl.” The film stars a yummy James Franco as seminal beat poet, tasty-in-his-own-time Alan Ginsberg. It’s on my top-three must-see list for Sundance Twenty Ten. This made me different from exactly no one. I didn’t get in. James Franco, needless to say, is a top-craved celeb sighting this year. I admit I tailored my schedule to be places at the times he’s most likely to come.

After the heartbreak of “Howl,” I dashed straight to the Egyptian Theater for the first short films of the festival, including Spike Jonze’s 35-minute “I’m Here.” The only way to see that on the big screen is at a festival. This shorts collection will screen five times while I’m here, though. Why did I have to see it last night? Premieres are exciting. If Spike did anything exciting, I wanted you to be the first to know.

Other top celeb sightings I’m dying to add to my memory scrapbook include Kristen Stewart, who’s starring in two feature films at the festival, and the adorable Josh Radnor, who wrote/directed/starred in and is premiering his rom-com “Happythankyoumoreplease” today at lunch. I couldn’t be happier. My friend scored tickets, and there are plenty of good, comfortable seats in the Eccles Theater where it’s screening, so I don’t have to worry about lining up early. Sure, I’ll be picturing every woman Josh kisses in the film as a potential “How I Met Your Mother” cast member. What? It’s my right with the price of admission.

I’m dying to see K-Stew’s costars this year too — Dakota Fanning and James Gandolfini playing, respectively, a rock star and a bereaved father.

Are any Frisky readers at the festival this year? Post your tips and opinions in the comments field. Believe me, I’ll be checking in.