'SEX' PARTNERS Is Lisa Kudrow the smartest Friend when it comes to picking movie roles? In almost all of her films, she picks supporting roles, so that she can earn praise if she's good and not be held responsible if the movie tanks. Her latest film deal, announced this week in the Hollywood Reporter, is for ''Happy Endings,'' an indie comedy costarring Gwyneth Paltrow that tells three related stories (à la ''Go'' or ''Pulp Fiction''), only one of which concerns Kudrow's character, a woman who meets an unscrupulous documentary filmmaker who may know the whereabouts of the child she gave up for adoption 19 years ago. Also, the actress who plays a masseuse on ''Friends'' will, in the movie, have a masseur boyfriend who may be giving his clients ''happy endings.''
Kudrow's story marks the third part of the triptych; the first belongs to Paltrow, who plays a woman involved with both a father and his son. The $10 million movie, which starts shooting May 12, reunites both actresses with writer-director Don Roos, who made Paltrow's ''Bounce'' and Kudrow's ''The Opposite of Sex.''
GOOD GIRLS Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston did their part during the wartime Oscar week by keeping their partying low-key. According to the New York Post, Cox and David Arquette hosted a benefit, cosponsored by Vanity Fair and Banana Republic, at a Hollywood Hills mansion last Wednesday, but in keeping with the Oscar parties later that weekend, reporters were less than welcome, so that guests like Brad Pitt, Jon Lovitz, and David Spade weren't seen whooping it up the night the missiles began to fall. Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attended Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards (where she was nominated for Best Female Lead for ''The Good Girl'' but lost to ''Far From Heaven'''s Julianne Moore), but their clothes were casual even by that event's relaxed standards. Pitt wore a translucent white shirt and jeans, while Aniston wore a black halter top, a frayed black skirt, and flip-flops. Then the couple dashed from the afternoon awards show in Santa Monica to the fancy benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the Motion Picture & Television Fund (which administers the old folks' home for actors), for which they were among several Hollywood power couples on the host committee. Don't know how well their beachwear went over at the $3 million fundraiser, but according to Zap2It.com, no one else there felt much like celebrating either.