What's the Buzz?
Guide to Summer Films
RomanceThe Real Mission Impossible
Love is in the air this summer, albeit with a refreshing streak of cynicism and disaster. On July 14, say goodbye to the touchy-feely sentimentality of director Nora Ephron's 1992 summer smash Sleepless in Seattle and hello to ... Untitled Nora Ephron Project (so much for title familiarity). John Travolta, fresh from the humiliation of Battlefield Earth, stars as a weatherman bamboozled into a lottery scam by the lottery's own sexy ball girl, played by Friend Lisa Kudrow. In Loser (July 21), Fast Times at Ridgemont High director Amy Heckerling returns to the camera in her first outing since Clueless with another teen romance, this time between American Pie co-stars Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari. Biggs plays (what else?) a loser smitten with the charms of Suvari, who in turn sets her wiles on her professor (Greg Kinnear). Rodrigo García (son of author Gabriel García Marquez) has garnered praise at Sundance and Cannes for Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (July), an ensemble drama about the lives of several women, both gay and straight, young and old. Early buzz points to stars Cameron Diaz (as a blind woman) and Calista Flockhart (as a psychic) as women on the verge of an award-winning performance. The rest of this summer's romances tear a page from Sliding Doors by asking "What if?" In Boys and Girls (June 16), Freddie Prinze Jr. and Claire Forlani ask, "What if best friends sleep together?" In Alain (Ma Vie en Rose) Berliner's A Passion of Mind (May 26), Demi Moore plays a woman confused by a split reality that finds her living with another man in the French countryside each night during sleep. But what if that is her real life, and her nonstop New York existence a mere illusion? In Love's Labour's Lost, Kenneth Branagh asks: What if Shakespeare wrote for the glamorous films of Thirties Hollywood (and what if he cast Alicia Silverstone)? What if you could wish for seven things, but only with the devil as wishmaster? Brendan Fraser finds out in Bedazzled (Aug. 11), a Harold Ramis-directed remake of the 1967 Dudley Moore comedy which throws in a healthy dose of sexual energy ô la Elizabeth Hurley, who plays Satan himself. When love proves to be too much of a good thing, Fraser finds out the truth behind life's real mission impossible.
ALSO PLAYING: Donal Logue packed on 30 pounds to play the magnetic title character in director Jenniphr Goodman's Sundance favorite The Tao of Steve (Sept. 9) ... Julia Stiles plays a ballet dancer entering an interracial relationship in Save the Last Dance (Aug. 11) ... Three men all fall for the same woman (Amanda Peet) in Whipped (Aug.).