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A preview for US films

Filmmakers from the United States made their mark in Montreal. Among the American offerings due soon is

Get Bruce! by documentary director Andrew J. Kuehn. He explores the career of Bruce Vilanch, a writer of comedy routines for everything from Oscar telecasts to big-name performers. Appearances by celebrities - Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams - provide star power, but Vilanch is the main attraction. "Get Bruce!" plays like an infomercial, but it serves up more rowdy humor than "American Pie."

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There's more restraint to Guinevere, directed by first-time filmmaker Audrey Wells, who assembled an excellent cast. Sarah Polley stars as a young woman looking for bohemian adventure, and Stephen Rea is a bushy-haired photographer who lures her into an intimate relationship. The film eventually sinks in a sea of overcooked emotionalism, but its lead performances often surpass their sentimental material.

More enjoyable is John Newcombe's comedy The Best Man, not to be confused with a forthcoming Hollywood release bearing the same title. Newcombe plays a city-bred man who agrees to serve as best man for a rural bridegroom he hardly knows, leading to misadventures that give him a deeper appreciation of marriage and commitment. As clean-cut and easygoing as its characters, this amiable farce marks a promising feature-film debut for Newcombe, who has written "Archie" comics between stage and screen assignments. He's a fresh and flexible talent.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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