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Old 02-08-2005, 08:08 AM
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How eager is the press to link Jennifer Aniston to a new man? Chances are if she was seen chatting up little Frankie Muniz, she'd quickly be labeled a latter-day Mrs. Robinson. Our point? Just a month after the actress announced her separation from Brad Pitt, she's supposedly stepped out on her "first date."

The alleged amour? Vince Vaughn, who coincidentally has a role in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," the spy thriller on which Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly bonded.

Paparazzi snapped Vaughn giving Aniston a hug and a smooch goodbye outside the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles last week, prompting the British tabloids to speculate that they are seeing each other socially.

"Jennifer and Vince are very close," a snitch tattles to the London Mirror, which described the lip action as "a tender goodnight kiss." "They've been spending time together. They're taking things slowly and enjoying each other's company. But they've got a connection."

A source posits to the London Daily Mail that the tête-ê-tête could be Jennifer's way of delivering "a subtle message to Brad," whom she shared a cozy dinner with just last week.

While the paper describes the buss as "a lingering kiss," you should keep in mind it also refers to Vaughn's "matinee-idol good looks," which, as much as we appreciate his comedy stylings and lanky-yet-puffy cuteness, seems a wee bit of a stretch, even on his best day.

So is Jen back on the dating scene? Not so much, says her rep, who insists the get-together was professional, not personal.

"The dinner with Vince Vaughn also included two studio execs from Warner Bros.," Aniston's mouthpiece, Stephen Huvane, tells MSN Entertainment. "[It] was a business dinner to discuss a future project."
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