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Movie Guide

February 13, 2004

50 First Dates (PG-13)

Director: Peter Segal. With Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Sean Astin, Dan Aykroyd. (99 min.)

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Sterritt * See review.

Love Object (Not rated)

Director: Robert Parigi. With Desmond Harrington, Melissa Sagemiller, Rip Torn, Udo Kier. (84 min.)

Sterritt *** A young writer becomes obsessed with an anatomically correct female doll he's modeled on a co-worker, and soon the artificial woman takes over his mind, with bloody results. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock classics like "Psycho" and "Vertigo," the thriller also resembles horror movies like "Dead of Night," treating its plot elements with a violence Hitch would have found way beyond what's necessary. Horror fans will find effective shivers, though.

Monsieur Ibrahim (R)

Director: François Dupeyron. With Omar Sharif, Pierre Boulanger, Lola Naymark, Isabelle Adjani. (94 min.)

Sterritt ** The place is Paris, the time is the early 1960s, and the main characters are an elderly Turkish émigré (Sharif) and a Jewish adolescent (Boulanger) who befriend each other in an era when life seemed simpler, - and camaraderie more readily trumped differences of age, ethnicity, and faith. While the story is sentimental, heartfelt acting makes its impact less manipulative. Originally titled "Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran." In French with English subtitles.

Robot Stories (Not rated)

Director: Greg Pak. With Tamlyn Tomita, Wai Ching Ho, Sab Shimono, Greg Pak. (85 min.)

Sterritt *** Four stories with automatons as important characters: "My Robot Baby," about would-be adoptive parents practicing with an electronic doll; "The Robot Fixer," about an old woman who collects toy gizmos for her dying son; "Machine Love," about humans with a new robot in their office; and "Clay," about an elderly artist who's reluctant to transfer his brain from a fatally ill body to a computer bank. The last is the most touching, but all are skillfully made.

The Seagull's Laughter (Not rated)

Director: Ágúst Gudmundsson. With Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir, Heino Ferch, Ugla Egilsdóttir. (102 min)

Sterritt ** Fresh from an American marriage that didn't last, an enigmatic woman returns in 1953 to the Icelandic fishing village she's from and perplexes her neighbors, particularly an 11-year-old girl who isn't sure whether to fear or admire her. Solid acting and an intriguing plot compensate for some dull spots. In Icelandic with English subtitles.

Along Came Polly (PG-13)

Director: John Hamburg. With Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra Messing. (90 min.)

Sterritt * A neurotically cautious man (Stiller) gets cheated on by his wife (Messing) during their honeymoon, whereupon he inexplicably starts chasing a woman (Aniston) whose life philosophy is the opposite of his. If you can swallow that premise, you may be able to tolerate the crass humor and weak acting.

Barbershop 2 (PG-13)

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan. With Ice Cube, Eve, Michael Ealy, Queen Latifah. (98 min.)

Staff **1/2 The crew from the original Barbershop comes back to cut hair, only this time a national chain is trying to shut them down. Sullivan brings forth a narrative that buzzes with energy and sharpness and the actors perform their lines with an earthy vigor, but the film's bare-boned script and mawkish ending keep it from achieving 'shear' brilliance. By Brad Rosenberg