updated 09/16/2009 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/16/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
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.
“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.”