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Jim Mullen's Hot Sheet

What the Country Was Talking About This Year

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1 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE The opening weekend shattered records. Hollywood finally got children to stop reading and go back to the movies where they belong.

2 THE PRODUCERS The biggest hit Broadway’s had in years. It’s so funny it’d make a wonderful Mel Brooks movie.

3 MARIAH’S MELTDOWN Her movie, tour, CD, and life all flopped at once. Which Spice Girl is running her career?

4 BJORK’S OSCAR OUTFIT The fashion faux pas of the year. Everyone knows you’re supposed to wear yellow shoes with a giant swan dress.

5 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING The tale of a most powerful overlord who plans to take over the entire world. A retelling of the Harvey Weinstein story.

6 PLANET OF THE APES Stars wearing masks, body fur, and acting nasty. Sounds like a night at Heidi Fleiss’ old place.

7 WEAKEST LINK mania All that fuss about a painfully ordinary quiz show. If you want to see people insulted by a rude hostess, just go to a trendy restaurant.

8 CSI The show about the creepy job of gathering forensic evidence was a surprise hit. It put the ”fun” back in funeral.

9 ROBERT DOWNEY JR. The charming stoner fell off the wagon once again. He’d better be careful — seven or eight more times and he’s out.

10 THE XFL The Extreme Football League didn’t score a TV audience even though it was loud, violent, and tasteless. But there was a tragic lack of spandex.

11 ANGELINA JOLIE & BILLY BOB THORNTON They were always good for a story on a slow news day. Before we stopped having slow news days.

12 PEARL HARBOR Osama bin Laden thinks he’s safe in a cave? Not if we drop this critical bomb on him.

13 SHREK AND MONSTERS, INC. Two animated hits with the theme that it’s what you are on the inside that counts. Which is true, unless you’re doing a live-action film.

14 CELEBRITY BREAKUPS ”’Til death do us…whoa — what’s your name, darlin’?…part.”

15 RUDY GIULIANI Before 9/11, New Yorkers thought he was a cranky, no-nonsense, know-it-all autocrat. Now, those are his endearing qualities.