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MOVIES Mark Ruffalo, Reese Witherspoon, and ''Mean Girls'' helmer Mark Waters are being mentioned in sentences like this one concerning ''If Only It Were True, a Ghost and Mrs. Muir''-style love story about a woman's spirit and the man who loves her (and can actually see her, natch). Wasn't Gene Tierney great as Mrs. Muir, and Rex Harrison as the salty dead sea captain? And Bernard Herrmann's score: very nice. Rent that 1947 classic -- tonight!... ''The Station Agent'''s Peter Dinklage is ideally cast in ''The Dwarf,'' an adaptation of Swedish writer Par Lagerkvist's dark 1945 novel, which, according to producer Marc Rosen, is ''the Huckleberry Finn of Sweden.'' Dinklage's character is the tough enforcer for a prince in Renaissance Italy, and in the end, Rosen promises, ''the body count is Shakespearean.'' Which means it's high; the Deal Report looked it up.

TELEVISION Do a Google image search on this guy Roland Kickinger -- such big, juicy muscles. And so he will play the young Schwarzenegger in ''See Arnold Run,'' an A&E biopic.

BOOKS Sub in a power-line munching rabbit, a killer parakeet, and a sexually confused parrot for Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, and Peter Boyle, but keep Patricia Heaton, and you've got ''Enslaved by Ducks,'' the 2003 memoir by Bob Tarte that the ''Everybody Loves Raymond'' den mother has just optioned to turn into either a movie or a TV show. It's about how Tarte and the missus ran a crazy zoo of sorts -- ring-necked doves, turkeys, and geese, too -- out of their Michigan home. Now, who DOESN'T love animals? ''Up until a year ago, I LOATHED animals, and the people who loved them,'' Heaton laughs. What happened? ''We bought a beagle. And now I'm one of 'them.''' The pup's name is Skip, and Heaton tells a great story about having to hose down the diarrhea-covered mutt on her front lawn one recent morning: ''I thought, I can't believe it, I got my last kid out of diapers, we've thrown the Binkys away, and we go and get this dog!'' Us Weekly is right: Stars, ''they're just like us!''

Originally posted Jul 16, 2004 Published in issue #774 Jul 16, 2004 Order article reprints
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