"I can't stop smiling – I'm very happy," the Music and Lyrics star tells PEOPLE


One of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelorettes, Drew Barrymore, is beaming about her newfound independence.

Asked what’s the best thing about the single life, Barrymore, 31, told PEOPLE at Wednesday’s Hollywood premiere of her new romantic comedy Music and Lyrics: “Just look at my face – I can’t stop smiling!”

So it isn’t scary at all? “No! I’m very happy.”

Barrymore, who recently split with Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, continued, “I think it’s important to give someone your heart and trust them and not be cynical. At the same time, I think being independent and strong and happy on your own and by yourself, it’s probably what will make you a better lover.

“Because you’d be less needy. So I’m for both.”

When asked if dating in Hollywood is tough, Barrymore said, “I think it’s the same for everybody. Inter-office dating is as challenging as inter-Hollywood dating. It’s a small school, small town. We are forced to be in these circles. There are little seas and those are the fish we swim around. I wish everyone good luck in love because it ain’t easy, anywhere.

“But it can be found, and I am an absolute romantic and an optimist.”

In Wednesday’s New York Post, Page Six quoted a source who said Barrymore was “definitely dating” Scrubs star Zach Braff – but her rep told the paper, “There is no romance between Drew and Zach. They are simply friends.”

And Barrymore herself told TV’s Extra she was surprised by the rumor: “I talked to him at a party. If I make out with someone, all bets are off. If I go out with someone, all bets are off. But talk to somebody? This world has gone mad.”

(She told PEOPLE on Monday she was looking forward to a girls’ night out on Valentine’s Day.)

Later that night, Barrymore chilled with her Fever Pitch costar Jimmy Fallon and Grey’s Anatomy’s T.R. Knight and Kate Walsh at the Music and Lyrics after-party at Hollywood + Highland’s The Annex.

But she left after less than an hour, perhaps because, as she told PEOPLE, she was feeling “incredibly jetlagged” after flying to L.A. from Monday’s London premiere.