By Missy Schwartz and Gregory Kirschling
December 03, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

MOVIES We are absolutely Catherine Zeta-Jonesing for the big-screen adaptation of The Ivy Chronicles, based on the upcoming book about a woman who starts a service to help little NYC tots with rich, uptight parents get into top-drawer kindergartens. (Yes, America, moms and dads are crazy here in NYC.) The ageless Ocean’s Twelve beauty is set to star…. The DR’s calling it! With, like, ”20 things in the can” in ’05, Aaron Eckhart is next year’s Jude Law! ”Don’t ever say that again,” pleads the Erin Brockovich hunk. ”I don’t know if he wants to be this year’s Jude Law, you know?” Yeah, okay. So here are the five indies not-next-year’s-Jude Law has lined up: Neverwas with Ian McKellen; the racial drama Burden; The Last Time, ”about a corporate ass who gets assed in the end”; Conversations With Other Women, a ”small, talky thing,” opposite Helena Bonham Carter; and Thank You for Smoking, the big-screen adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s best-selling novel. ”It’s the story of a tobacco lobbyist — me — who can talk the paint off a car,” says Eckhart, who himself kicked the habit two years ago. ”He’s a train wreck to watch, but in the end you just come to love him.”

BOOKS Lisa Simpson is a sad but sweet little sprite. So is Yeardley Smith, who voices her on The Simpsons. She’s writing the tentatively titled Are You Gonna Eat That?, a lighthearted memoir due spring 2006 about her struggles with depression, bulimia, and plastic surgery, which were also the subjects of her recent one-woman show, More. She knows what you’re thinking (i.e., ”JEEE-SUS!”) — don’t think it! ”I never wanted anybody to feel sorry for me,” she says. ”It’s about me missing the point. For forever, I’ve felt I had this hole inside me and my quest for fame was gonna fill it up. I just didn’t get it.” She’s also planning to tell funny fame stories about ”babbling” on to Cynthia Nixon at the Golden Globes and about the crazy stalker guy who told her he ”had two people killed for me and he wanted $20,000 for it.”