NY Mirror

A real mouse— well, a computer-animated one— was stirring, so we breast-stroked to the Columbia Pictures meet-and-greet promoting their upcoming rodent rhapsody Stuart Little— not to be confused with Stuart Smalley or anything running around my apartment. Over cheese, the film's director, Rob Minkoff, told me, "Stuart's disadvantaged because he's so short, but he tries to turn adversity in his favor." In fact, the little devil manages to charm an entire family and even to fend off a cat, voiced by Nathan Lane, which reminds me: Why couldn't a person— say that Mini-Me guy or Ross Perot— have played Stuart? "Someone suggested that," Minkoff said. "They're no longer with the production," he added, laughing.

The mouse's tall, human costar, Geena Davis, turned out to have a lot more charisma and, um, media stature than they let her reveal on that pre-Oscar telecast. Davis giddily told me, "The mouse didn't show up for the movie. He was in his trailer. Usually, he was just a dot because they used a laser pointer to represent him. I had all these intense, emotional scenes with this dot!" But Davis got used to the unnerving process, she said, because "I've had interspecies experiences before." (No, she didn't mean with Jeff Goldblum.)

As for her endearing, if equally bizarre, obsession with archery, Davis told me, "It's challenging to stay focused and control your nerves. The other day [at her Olympic tryout], 50 news outlets were suddenly there watching me, standing behind my target!" Did she imagine that they were the bull's-eye? Nah, she said, "It was terrific fun. I never expected to do something that would land me in the sports pages!" I did— I bowled a wicked 75 last week!

As a souvenir, we got a framed shot of ourselves kissing Stuart Little— we'd posed without even a laser dot— which was the best party gift since the Britney Spears outgoing phone message or the plume promoting that Brad Pitt movie, which came with a card that said, "If you are going to stick feathers up your butt, please lavase sus manos!" But a not-so-festive trinket, I hear, is that other imminent feathery romp— Flawless, a hermaphroditic phantasm with De Niro about which one observer said, "The title's a misnomer. It's a stinker— a broad and underbaked ball of clichés." What's worse, the drag queens are way too big for polka dots!

musto@villagevoice.com

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