Elisabetta Canalis: I Love Being with George Clooney

01/12/2010 at 02:10 PM EST

Elisabetta Canalis: I Love Being with George Clooney
Elisabetta Canalis and George Clooney
Amanda Schwab/Startraks
What's life like walking the red carpet on the arm of boyfriend George Clooney? Elisabetta Canalis has no complaints.

"Yes, I love it!" the actor's girlfriend told PEOPLE of spending awards season at Clooney's side. The couple held hands while walking the red carpet Monday night at the 2009 New York Film Critic's Circle Awards in Manhattan, where Clooney, 48, was honored as Best Actor for his performances in Up in the Air and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Canalis, 31, also gave a thumbs up to the pair's New Years vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: "Great!" And does she find Clooney as charming as everyone else does? "Yes, of course," she said, beaming.

Of course, part of Clooney's charm is his sense of humor. "She's homely," joked Clooney, holding their interlaced fingers to his chest. "But what do you do?"

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Clooney continued his clowning when he got onstage. During his first trip to the podium, to present best animated film to his Mr. Fox director Wes Anderson, Clooney commented about the fact that his dinner wasn't served until hours after his drinks were.

"I got the chicken about five minutes ago, so I'm Mariah Carey f---ed up right now," he joked, referring to Carey's rambling speech at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 5.

When Christine Lahti, who presented Clooney with his award, asked Clooney if he had ever Googled himself, Clooney good-naturedly shot back, "I Google myself every afternoon."

When he later took to the stage to accept his Best Actor award, he assured the audience, "I'm not drunk anymore. I'm gonna be good."

Clooney and Canalis have many more red carpets to travel in the coming weeks: Clooney is also nominated for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, for Up in the Air.   

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