By EW Staff
Updated November 25, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Mona Lisa Smile: Bob Marshak

”Mona Lisa Smile” is one of the 10 holiday movies we can’t wait to see

WHY WE CAN’T WAIT Julia Roberts gets to sink her famous choppers into her meatiest role since ”Erin Brockovich,” work with a top director (Mike Newell, helmer of ”Four Weddings and a Funeral” and ”Enchanted April”), and face off against some of our favorite rising actresses, including Julia Stiles, Kirsten Dunst, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

SOURCE MATERIAL The imaginations of screenwriters Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal

PLOT POINTS Free-spirit art professor Roberts comes to all-female Wellesley College in the girdle-bound 1950s. She encourages her young charges, ”Dead Poets Society”-style, to expand their horizons beyond the June Cleaver role society expects of them. (It’ll be another decade before Hillary Rodham shows up there as an undergrad.)

BURNING QUESTION Are there any boys in this movie?

COME FOR The faculty Julia (Roberts)

STAY FOR The coed Julia (Stiles)