Elisabetta Canalis makes Clooney happy, says his Oceans Eleven pal

By Shruti Dhalwala
September 16, 2009 09:00 AM
Kika Press/Pacific Coast News

George Clooney‘s newest squeeze has passed an important test: gaining the approval of her beau’s friends.

“She is a really, really wonderful woman,” Clooney’s close pal , 38, told PEOPLE at Tuesday’s Manhattan premiere of his film The Informant!

Damon says he and wife Luciana vacationed this summer with the Oceans Eleven star and his new girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, 30. And apparently Canalis, an Italian TV presenter, is having a good effect on Clooney, 48.

RELATED: George and Elisabeta Go Public in Venice
“It’s nice to see my friend so happy,” Damon says.

Indeed, Clooney seems uncharacteristically demonstrative toward Canalis, whom he squired around openly at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.

On the other hand, Damon says he wishes he could see more of another famous friend – best friend and fellow Good Will Hunting Oscar-winner Ben Affleck.

“He’s been in L.A., and I’ve been in Miami, and now he’s in Boston shooting, so we see each other less than we’d like to,” Damon said. “Hopefully, we’ll change that.”

George Clooney and Matt Damon
Jim Smeal/BEimages