WHEN HOT IS NOT
Before Kim Basinger, 39, and Alec Baldwin, 35, wed last month, they wrapped The Getaway; a remake of the 1972 Sam Peckinpah movie. Although Basinger calls their onscreen coupling "my hottest love scenes since 9½ Weeks," there was more play than passion on the set. "We were just cracking up," says Basinger. "We're in this clinch, and it was like, 'Honey, can you move your arm? Ouch, you just elbowed me in the stomach.' Love scenes are choreographed, not sexy, even with your real boyfriend. Everybody will see The Getaway and ask, 'So, is this what you guys do at home?' It's not."

QUARTERBACK CRITIC
When San Francisco 49er Steve young, currently recovering from a fractured thumb, feels the pressure of being reigning league MVR he goes to the cinema. "There's nothing like sitting in a movie theater to take you away," says Young, 31. "I really depend a lot on Hollywood to come through for me in the fall." Though Young loved The Fugitive and In the Line of Fire, his No. 1 pick for the summer season didn't have an action hero. "The movie of the summer so far is Searching for Bobby Fischer," says Young of the drama about a 7-year-old chess prodigy. "They're trying to [teach him to] become a champion by having contempt for his opponents, but he can't do it. I wish parents would understand that if their child drops eight fly-balls one day, then only drops six the next, that's a reason to go to Dairy Queen. The principle [is] competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."

MIRACLE OF THE BELLS
What Mariah Carey likes about "Dreamlover," the first single from her new release, Music Box, is that "it lakes you back to when you're looking for someone." Says Carey, 24: "A lot of young women get disillusioned looking for Mr. Right. He never shows up in most cases. But in my case, yes!" Among those surprised by Carey's June 5 marriage to Sony Music president Tommy Mottola, 43, was the singer herself. "I never really thought I would get married," she says. "I just never really believed in it because my parents got divorced and everybody's parents I knew got divorced or were unhappy. So everybody that knows me was freaked out that I actually did it. I think they thought I was going to inn at the last minute."

ALTAR BOUND, BUT NOT GAGGED
Since announcing her engagement to former Clinton campaign strategist James Carville on her CNBC talk show, Equal Time, Mary Matalin has been taking congratulatory calls from, among others, former boss George Bush. Of her future mother-in-law, Lucille Carville, "This is Miss Nippy's finest hour," Matalin says. "She was beginning to doubt her baby boy would ever tie the knot." Matalin, 40, and Carville, 48, will exchange wedding bands on Thanksgiving Day. "I told him, 'I don't care if you wear it in your nose, I want you to wear a ring,' " says Mary. She'll keep her maiden name, and she won't change her affectionate sobriquet for Carville either. She was surprised, in fact, when her cohost Jane Wallace even thought to ask, "Does this mean you'll stop calling him Serpenthead?"