Kristen Mascia
August 01, 2008 01:00 PM

The romance between Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon is soooo “right,” a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE.

“I dig Jake and Reese together,” says Clifton Collins Jr., an old pal of Witherspoon, 32, and Gyllenhaal’s costar in the upcoming film Brothers. “They seem happy.”

And Collins Jr., should know. “I’ve known her since she was 17 – we used to have the same agent. She’s precious. She’s fun and sweet, and dedicated – she really cares about her work,” he tells PEOPLE at the Maxim Extreme Sports Party on Thursday at the Stork club in Los Angeles.

Gyllenhaal, 27, seems a great match for her, he says. “He’s got this big, lovable heart. He’s just like that.”

So would Gyllenhaal make a good dad?

You betcha, he adds. In fact, “He’s a big kid. And he’s very playful.” Indeed, Gyllenhaal has had a lot of practice: He’s uncle to 22-month-old Ramona, his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s child with Peter Saarsgaard, and has been spending lots of time with Witherspoon and her kids, Ava, 8, and Deacon, 4.

Watching Gyllenhaal and Witherspoon together, “I see smiles, so something’s gotta be [going] right,” Collins Jr. says.

• Reporting by VANESSA DIAZ

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