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Sterritt * An actress lands the not-so-juicy role of a bandage-covered coma patient in a TV soap opera, sparking complications in her off-screen romantic life and lunacy in an eccentric neighbor who's got a crush on the leading man of the series. Everyone tries very hard to make the story sweet and funny, but the soggy screenplay defeats them every time.

In Praise of Love (Not rated)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard. With Bruno Putzulu, Cécile Camp, Jean Davy, Françoise Verny. (98 min.)

Sterritt **** See review, page 17.

Swimfan (PG-13)

Director: John Polson. With Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen, Kate Burton, Shiri Appleby. (85 min.)

Sterritt ** "Fatal Attraction" goes to high school, as a pretty psychopath stalks a swimming-team hunk with deadly results. Polson's well-filmed thriller swims down the usual lanes for this sort of story, and everyone looks way too old for senior year; but many of the suspense scenes work fine, and Bradford is terrific as the endangered hero.

CURRENTLY IN RELEASE
Blue Crush (PG-13)

Director: John Stockwell. With Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Mika Boorem. (103 min.)

Sterritt ** They're chambermaids by night, surfin' girls by day, and one of them has the makings of wave-riding stardom. Moviegoing tip: Skip the first hour or so, but grab a seat in time for the surfing contest that climaxes the picture, complete with mile-high waves and the most graceful ocean-gliding this side of "The Endless Summer."

Staff **1/2 Stunning surf footage, exhilarating, insipid dialogue.

Sex/Nudity: 6 instances innuendo; 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 12 scenes, including near drownings and surfing injuries. Profanity: 22 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking and smoking.

FearDotCom (R)

Director: William Malone. With Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea. (90 min.)

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