Matt Damon Loves George Clooney's Girlfriend

09/16/2009 at 09:00 AM EDT

Matt Damon Loves George Clooney's Girlfriend
George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis
Kika Press/Pacific Coast News

Matt Damon

Matt Damon

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 Matt Damon, 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."

Matt Damon Loves George Clooney's Girlfriend| Couples, Elisabetta Canalis, George Clooney, Matt Damon

George Clooney and Matt Damon

Jim Smeal / BEimages

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