- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hugh Grant stars in the Valentine’s Day opener “Music and Lyrics,” a frothy romantic comedy starring the urbane British heartbreaker that women fantasize about but other men don’t quite trust. Men want to be like Clint Eastwood (original version), Bruce Willis and Will Smith. Mr. Grant? Not so much. Here are four more male leads without much credibility with men — plus one who may be losing it and one who may be finding it.

Jude Law — Move over, Ralph Fiennes. It’s no accident this fine-featured British star’s current vehicle “Breaking and Entering” sneaked into box offices on Super Bowl weekend. Yes, he got all the women in “Alfie” and Sienna Miller on and off screen, but he looked so darn metrosexual doing it.

Mark Ruffalo — This leading man is morphing before our eyes. Introduced to audiences in 2000’s “You Can Count on Me,” the actor reminded more than a few people of a young Marlon Brando. Lately, he’s been running in place with sappy features like “Just Like Heaven” and “13 Going on 30.”

Pierce Brosnan — Say this about the prettiest Bond so far: He made men appreciate Daniel Craig’s rugged version all the more.

Patrick Dempsey — He may be McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but to the show’s male fans he’s just another pretty face.

Adam Sandler/Leonardo DiCaprio — Hormonally-charged men, er, boys followed Mr. Sandler like the proverbial Pied Piper — until he romanced Drew Barrymore over and again. Mr. DiCaprio lost men the moment he sank in “Titanic’s” watery grave, but this year’s “The Departed” and “Blood Diamond” find the pretty boy growing into a man that can hold his own in the toughest arenas.

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