In fact, it's only the pedigree elsewhere on the credit roll — Brian Grazer is producing, Robert Donwey Jr. is a front-runner to star — that seems to reassure Hefner in the face of a B-Rat incursion on his life story:
"It's going to be a very curious change of pace for him . . . but I believe in Brian," Hefner said. "The one thing I would want the film to be is something other than a light comedy, to have something to say and express something about the change in social sexual values. You know, Brian made a comment that I was the only man who had made love to over a thousand women and they all still liked him. And I do take some pride, in fact, that I remain friends with the majority of former wives and girlfriends. I am a romantic."
This can't be reassuring to Ratner, who would hate to have wasted his last year and a half of attempts to convince Hefner that he, too, is a romantic with male-slut sensitivity befitting his legendary subject. The law of averages suggests that the whole girl-ashamed-to-be-seen-with-the-Rat thing is bound to happen on occasion, just as eventually Ratner would have it in him to make a watchable, rewarding non-sequel. You're in good hands, Hef. Just keep an eye on them around the mansion.