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Sterritt * A married couple drift apart in the wake of a friend's suicide. Then they encounter friends and strangers who help them understand their needs and desires a tiny bit better. Lachow goes for cuteness and whimsy every chance he gets, missing a lot more often than he hits.

Mr. Deeds (PG-13)

Director: Steven Brill. With Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, Steve Buscemi, Peter Gallagher. (91 min.)

Staff * See review, page 16.

Skin of Man, Heart of Beast (Not rated)

Director: Hélène Angel. With Serge Riaboukine, Virginie Guinand, Bernard Blancan, Maaike Jensen. (97 min.)

Sterritt ** Serious psychological trouble brews when a moody Frenchman returns home after a long absence, sparking questions about his past and tension between his brothers, who have problems of their own. Much of the story is viewed from the standpoint of two young girls in the family, giving the drama an unusual perspective. In the end there's more nasty behavior than constructive insight, though. In French with English subtitles.

3 Women (PG)

Director: Robert Altman. With Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall, Janice Rule. (125 min.)

Sterritt **** Inspired by a dream Altman had at a troubled time in his life, this 1977 masterpiece blends realism with surrealism as it offers an unhurried look at two painfully ordinary young women whose personalities undergo eerie alterations as they get to know each other. Written and directed by a brilliant screen artist at the peak of his powers, it's an utterly original comedy-drama.

Bad Company (PG-13)

Director: Joel Schumacher. With Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Garcelle Beauvais, Brooke Smith. (120 min.)

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