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"That loving feeling": Seven movies in which a character tries to win someone's heart with a public serenade.

While the public serenading of someone's object of desire is not a gesture you tend to see all that often in the real world, at least outside of karaoke parlors, it is a reliable cinematic stand-by. This is probably because it's a gesture so fraught with the potential for embarrassment and humiliation that it's safer left on the screen. So even though the musical is mostly dead and people no longer get described as "crooners," the serenade's popularity has seemingly only...

Seven actors who deserve better.

We've all had this experience before -- you go to a movie and an actor you've never heard of totally blows you away. You expect to see more of him or her, then years go by and you see the movie again on TV and realize you have no idea what happened. (Like, say, almost everyone in "Dazed and Confused.") This happens all too often -- here's a just-barely-scratching-the-surface list of seven performers of recent years who deserve better than their current career purgatories.Paul...

Drama: A superior form of comedy?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend told me I didn't like comedians; after a little thought, I had concede this is basically true. We were talking about Jane Lynch and Will Ferrell and the day's other leading comic luminaries, all of whom basically grate on me; while they're performing, they give off this air of knowing how funny they are, which bothers me. I was and remain a big fan of a lot of the '70s comics (Steve Martin at his peak, the original "SNL" cast, etc.), but you...