Readers respond to EW's take on the state of Hollywood, Chris Meloni, and the late Susannah McCorkle

Watch out, Julia, Reese is closing in. Readers flipped for our cover of the Legally Blonde star (#609, Aug. 17). ”Reese will be America’s sweetheart,” gushes Denise Vasquez of Palm Springs, Calif. ”She will reign the box office and win our hearts.” But opinions on ”If We Ran Hollywood” were far from unanimous. Dana Yost of Cottonwood, Minn., writes, ”If Hollywood has any common sense, it will listen to you,” while Woody Hertz of North Hollywood, Calif., claims, ”Filmgoers wouldn’t watch mediocre movies if you didn’t hype [them].” Finally, Brian Deer of College Park, Md., booed our Smoking Gun tidbits (”The Paper Chase”). ”Who cares about Monica Lewinsky’s resume or Christina Aguilera’s dressing room?” Guilty as charged.

Reese Lightning

Not only is Reese Witherspoon on the cover, but there’s a cure-all for what’s ailing Hollywood! Add the ’50s-throwback pics of the American Pie 2 gang, an interview with Jon Lovitz, and those naughty pages from, and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect issue. I think I’ll frame it.
Longview, Wash.

Way to go, Reese! I’m 100 percent behind your call for more Southern writers in Hollywood. Lots of things happen outside of L.A. and New York. Reese has noticed. Why hasn’t anyone else?
Baton Rouge, La.

I’m so happy that somebody recognizes the horrible state filmmaking is in. I’ll forgive your extensive Mummy Returns and Tomb Raider coverage because it seemed like there was a Memento article in every issue for two months after its release. And that was a damn fine film worthy of attention.
Haverstraw, N.Y.

Great job on featuring the importance of the screenplay in ”If We Ran Hollywood.” EW can continue to make a powerful contribution to better movies by featuring articles on scripts and screenwriters you like.
Santa Monica

Imagine my surprise when I discovered we both would like to see a remake of The Philadelphia Story with almost the exact same cast! Only one man could fill Cary Grant’s tuxedo—Brendan Fraser. Check out Mrs. Winterbourne and you’ll agree.
Toledo, Ohio

Your ”If We Ran Hollywood” issue only furthers my theorem. EW has all the cultural relevance and insightfulness of a Gallagher joke.
Playa Del Rey, Calif.

A Life More Ordinary

How about a reality rehab for the stars (News & Notes)? Let them be an average working stiff. Let them worry about making ends meet, unstable jobs, and finding affordable health care. Let them try to raise kids in a culture saturated with images of violence, sex, and drug use, the peddling of which has made these stars rich and famous in the first place. The boot camp of the real world should scare them straight.

Shaw & Order

After reading Jessica Shaw’s inane comment that Chris Meloni is ”Five Minutes Ago,” (Scout) I have to wonder if she even reads EW. Meloni’s picture appeared in the issue of EW preceding the one in which her statement appeared. He also has two TV series, a movie for which he has received raves, and a billboard on Seventh Avenue and 48th Street in New York City. This hardly sounds like someone who’s old news.
Charlotte, N.C.

McCorkle’s Legacy

David Browne’s sensitive article about the late Susannah McCorkle was a joy to read (Music). Her loss has left an indelible void for us who were lucky enough to have been not only her fans, but her friends. Mr. Browne’s handling of her work, as well as cabaret in general, was astute journalism and a marvelous validation of the genre. On behalf of the American cabaret community, thanks so very much!
Andrew Martin Arnold
Rego Park, N.Y.