Hotrod Stuart


In Stuart Little 2 (Columbia, in general release), the titular fur-face (voiced by Michael J. Fox) experiences growing pains that would be mundane if he weren’t a mouse: Now the middle child of the Little household, he’s no longer the main playmate of brother Jonathan Lipnicki (contracted to appear in every children’s film until 2010). New companionship comes in the form of Margalo (Melanie Griffith), an adroitly animated Tweety-moll, all hops and twitches, with a cute aviator helmet and a fondness for precious stones. Tending to her injured wing, Stuart falls for her, and by the time rodent and bird are parked at the drive-in (actually just a TV), watching the Cypress Point clinch from Vertigo, the film has become the summer’s most romantic interspecies love story. As with Hitchcock, that swooning sensation finds a corollary in menace at great heights, though here the falls are broken by toy airplanes, impromptu parachutes, and buckets sproinging on flagpoles. When Stuart tells Margolo that her wing is as good as new, she demurs, then appears to allude to the relative merits of SL2 and its cloying predecessor: “It’s much, much better.”