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FEBRUARY 7, 2000: 

DOWN TO YOU. An unbearably banal "romantic comedy" that lacks (1) romance, and (2) comedy. About the only thing that makes this one watchable is the enormous cold sore on female lead Julia Stiles' lip. Sit in dread as male lead Freddie Prinze Jr. contemplates kissing it. Gasp in horror as he goes in for the contractual lip lock. Wait in boredom for a few scenes until it appears on his mouth. Then run from the theater, because nothing else is going to happen in the remaining 45 minutes of this film. Added bonus: this movie seems to be advocating teen drinking, teen smoking, teen drug use, and teens as actors in porno films. But that's all in the first five minutes, so don't expect any long-term titillation. -- James DiGiovanna

END OF THE AFFAIR. Intelligent, sharp, witty dialogue, and a refusal to explain itself overmuch save this movie from a few obvious plot points. Julianne Moore is Sarah Miles and Ralph Fiennes is Maurice Bendix, lovers in war-time London in this adaptation of novelist Graham Greene's one attempt at becoming the Piccadilly Pasternak. The dry comedy is as tasty and English as bangers and mash with a side of bubble and squeak. -- James DiGiovanna

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