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There's three big movies opening this weekend, and I could not be more surprised by which one I liked best. I expected to enjoy the re-teaming of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe in "Robin Hood" the most--mainly because these guys know their epics and the script is by Brian Helgeland, who's responsible for two of my all-time favorite movies, "L.A. Confidential" and "A Knight's Tale." Instead, I found myself annoyed that this re-telling of Robin Hood bears virtually no resemblance to the Robin Hood legend. I'm not saying it has to just be a rehash of things we've seen before, but why tell Robin Hood and not use the actual story? In this version, Robin impersonates a slain knight and has to pretend to be married to his widow, Marian. Yes, that's right. It's more "Sommersby" than "Robin Hood."

On the other hand, there's two new romcoms coming out that charmed me despite their predictability. I have nothing wrong with a paint-by-numbers movie, as long as it's done well. And "Letters to Juliet" is well-done fluff, featuring another winning turn by Amanda Seyfried and a luminous performance by Vanessa Redgrave. The plot is full of holes: While in Verona, Seyfried's Sophie finds a wall where women leave letters to the fictional Juliet of Verona, and ends up answering a letter that was left behind 50 years ago. The author of the letter appears in the form of Redgrave's Claire and they set off to find the lost love she abandoned. Of course, Claire's haughty pretty boy grandson tags along and...well, you can guess the rest. Truth is, I would watch Seyfried in just about anything--seriously, I sat through "Chloe." And newcomer Christopher Egan is as pretty as the Italian scenery. I actually spoke to him this week, you can read our interview here. But the real chemistry is between Seyfried and Redgrave, who are both wonderful.

But the real charmer for me was "Just Wright"--and how unexpected was this. Though I adore Queen Latifah (this week's cover subject, you can read the interview here). I had virtually no interest in this movie whatsoever. But I had to go see it to talk to the Queen, so I did--somewhat reluctantly. That hesitation was gone within five minutes. Latifah plays the girl who's always seen as a "friend," never more. But things start to change when she befriends Scott McKnight, the star player of her beloved New Jersey Nets, played by Common in a star-making performance. At first, Scott makes a beeline for her shallow, beautiful best friend (the wonderful Paula Patton). But when he's injured and turns to Latifah's physical therapist, their friendship blossoms naturally and believably. The film is also predictable, but so well done, I couldn't have cared less. The actors carry it with their charm and I found myself completely invested in the story. Let me put it this way: I was smiling through the entire movie--even when I was crying.

--Jenelle Riley

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