Picks and Pans Review: Next Stop Wonderland

updated 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Hope Davis, Alan Gelfant

Davis, a blonde actress with a sharp, pale face, looks like Lewis Carroll's Alice had she grown up to discover the world is an even more peculiar place than she had originally suspected. A stalwart of independent films who earlier graced The Daytrippers and The Myth of Fingerprints, Davis now brings her quizzical radiance to Next Stop Wonderland, a beguiling, if slight, romantic comedy directed and cowritten by Brad Anderson, a clearly clever fellow.

Davis plays a sad-eyed, unmarried nurse in Boston whose mother (the ever fabulous Holland Taylor) takes out a personals ad for her, to which many dubious men reply. At the same time, the movie tracks a plumber (Gelfant) studying to become a marine biologist. He and Davis keep just missing each other. But not forever. (R)

Bottom Line: Small movie that's a tart treat

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