By Mandi Bierly
Updated May 17, 2007 at 09:26 PM EDT

Question: Why do we spend so much time worrying about who will be America’s Next Sweetheart when we really need to find the next Hugh Grant and Dermot Mulroney? (Mulroney doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, if you ask me. The man made women whimper during The Wedding Date.) These guys won’t be making romantic comedies forever, people. It’s time we focus.

Were I a casting director, my criteria would be thus: Did your last movie make me go home and YouTube you? For Nathan Fillion (pictured), costar of Waitress, the answer is yes. (And I know I’m not alone.) It took me years to disassociate him with evil Caleb on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (his turn as Firefly and Serenity‘s Captain Tight Pants was, somehow, not enough). Thanks to a few slices of watching-him-have-sex-with-Keri-Russell pie, I’ve done it. Also recently receiving immediate Internet attention: Adam Brody, star of In the Land of Women, which I clearly enjoyed more than EW’s Owen Gleiberman did. Those of you who’ve read this week’s PopWatch Confessional can imagine how much I enjoyed learning that Brody had forced his friends to go to Medieval Times for his birthday.

addCredit(“Nathan Fillion: Alan Markfield”)

So, who do you pick as your new romantic leading man? Remember, thisis the guy who — if the recent trend holds up — you’ll be watching playa divorced or widowed man with a family member who quickly lets it slipthat he hasn’t brought a woman home since. I doubt that Fillion andBrody are looking for that kind of role, but I would watch them in it.Sadly.

P.S. Is there a way to write a romantic comedy so actors would want to be in it?