When Shmuger Met Linde

We couldn't let the day slip away from us without pointing out the LAT's heartwarming tale of Universal co-chairs Marc Shmuger and David Linde, who were hastily thrown together to replace freshly poached studio head Stacey Snider, but who nonetheless saw their "arranged marriage" of convenience blossom into a beautiful, full-blown love affair. The Times drops us into the special moment when the two men made the magical transition from co-workers to life partners:

[Universal Studios President Ron] Meyer acknowledged that the arranged marriage was a risk: "The question was, were these two guys going to like each other and work well together?" [...]

Just before being named to their new positions, Linde and Shmuger had what could be called their engagement dinner. Over sushi at their favorite midtown Manhattan Japanese restaurant, the pair talked for hours about where the business was headed, what kinds of movies they would make and whom they could cast.

They got along so well that Shmuger pulled out a disposable camera. "We were taking pictures like tourists on their first trip to New York," he said. "I wanted to preserve the historic moment."

They moved on to a bar after dinner. "We wanted to keep talking so we headed out for a few beers," Linde said.

Linde bought a house six blocks away from Shmuger's in Brentwood. They found other common ground: live-in in-laws and recent family vacations in Japan. On the day of an interview, they wore identical outfits: navy slacks, black shoes and socks and white plaid shirts. A coincidence, they say.

To promote togetherness, they are building two new offices, adjoined by a conference room with see-through glass doors.

While the offices were obviously designed to maximize the loveflow between the two studiomates, employees trying to get work done in the conference room nestled between them will have to learn to ignore their bosses' public displays of affection. Pretending not to notice as the partners cutely wave to each other while on phone calls will be challenge enough, but it's only a matter of time before their tapping on the glass doors to get each other's attention for a round of air-kisses causes someone to snap and suggest that they "get a fucking room already."