June 10, 2002 12:00 PM

Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox Arquette Arquette are a lot more than great Friends—they’re great clients too. The pair threw a 40th-birthday party for their mutual manager, Cynthia Pett-Dante, at Cox Arquette’s oceanfront home in Malibu on May 17. It was a girls-only affair for 40 guests, including Renée Zellweger and Elizabeth Perkins, although Aniston’s husband, Brad Pitt, crashed the party later. The beach bash started at noon and stretched into the early evening. When not getting foot massages, personalized toe rings or psychic readings, the ladies dined on lobster salad and mango gazpacho—washed down by margaritas spiked with Grand Marnier. Cowabunga!

Meanwhile, Courteney’s husband, David Arquette, has been living the high life too. A friend recently gave him a two-hour helicopter lesson at Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley, and he liked it so much that he took another lesson on May 24. But Arquette isn’t really interested in spending the time (about 80 hours) to get a helicopter license, especially since his wife isn’t crazy about the pastime. “My goal,” he says, “is if I’m ever riding in a helicopter, I’ll know what to do if something happens.”

Since Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe spent 8 of the last 10 months living in Vancouver while Swank shot two movies, including the new thriller Insomnia, they’re looking forward to staying put at home in New York City. In fact, the day after they returned from Vancouver, the couple went apartment hunting and bought a brownstone in Greenwich Village. “It was the third one we looked at,” Swank tells me. “But three’s my lucky number and it’s part of the address.” They’ll move in next month.

Matt Damon was set to have a cameo in buddy Ben Affleck‘s latest film, The Sum of All Fears. He stopped by the Montreal set on the day they were filming the White House Correspondents’ dinner scene, and director Phil Alden Robinson asked if he’d like to play an extra. Damon said yes, so Robinson put him in a waiter’s uniform and had him walk by Affleck seated at a table. Although Damon ended up on the cutting room floor, he took it in stride. After all, he and Affleck already appeared as extras in one of Robinson’s other films when they first started in Hollywood—a little film called Field of Dreams.

It’s been five years since Men in Black came out. In human years that’s not long, but in dog years it’s an eternity, at least in Hollywood. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones look pretty much the same, but Smith’s ally, Frank the Pug, now 7, is getting a little long in the canines. Before each of his scenes in the sequel, opening July 3, makeup artists used black mascara to cover the grey on his face. Why not cast a younger dog to play Frank, whose real name is Mushu? Well, I’m told director Barry Sonnenfeld has a soft spot for the pooch.

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