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UPDATED 12/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

In 1985 he was our first Sexiest Man Alive, and correspondents agree: The older, mellower Mel Gibson (PEOPLE, Nov. 11) is still worth a king's ransom. Even more readers castigated critic Leah Rozen for her less-than-admiring review of the movie William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

MEL GIBSON
When you put Mel on the cover, print extra copies. My usual store sold out in two days. The only thing sexier than a gorgeous man is a gorgeous family man who is devoted to his wife and children.
J. MACCUISH, Stoney Creek, Ont.

Years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Mel Gibson in a small bar in Johnson City, Tenn. He sat and talked and had a drink with me, gave me his autograph and allowed me to kiss him on the cheek. What a charmer he was, and, oh, those eyes!
BARBARA SEABOLT, Church Hill, Tenn.

PICKS & PANS
Leah Rozen must have missed the preview that said this was a "modern" version of Romeo & Juliet. She must not live in the same world as the rest of us, where gangs, guns and loud music are part of everyday life. Director Baz Luhrmann did a fantastic job portraying the story of two star-crossed lovers. It is romantic and emotional, and I recommend that everyone see it.
COURTNEY ROOT, Bristol, R.I.

I am 14, and I believe the new Romeo & Juliet is creative, original and definitely not an extended music video. I also want to relieve Leah Rozen's fears about this being the only version young people will see. I own Zeffirelli's version. I have also seen a stage production and read the original story. Not all teenagers are illiterate when it comes to the classics.
MINA K. SABIH
Highland Village, Texas

We don't believe the Bard's "swell speeches" are lost among gunfights and skyscrapers. The language of the play is universal, as is its tragedy.
MELISSA LEILANI LARSON and MAXANNE HATCH, Provo, Utah

TOM BLOCH
Tom Bloch quits as CEO of his family's business to become a teacher. Impressive? Yes. Inspiring? I don't know. The man did have enough money to keep his family in the lifestyle to which they've grown accustomed. I find more inspiring those of us who teach knowing that our meager salary may not be enough to support our families, who work second and third jobs just to make ends meet. When do I see an article about one of us?
ROB BRAYTON, Conyers, Ga.

Is anyone else appalled that Mr. Bloch is making only $20,000 a year for doing probably the single most important job in the universe—teaching? Why do we think it's okay to pay a sports figure millions but care so little about the people entrusted with our children's future?
CHRISTINE T. NIMITZ, Tempe, Ariz.

THE RULES
In the 10 years I have been a PEOPLE reader, nothing has infuriated me more than the trash written by The Rules authors Sherrie Schneider and Ellen Fein. If a woman has to alter her personality, telephone etiquette and eating habits to "get the ring," then I don't think the ring is worth getting. Ladies, be whoever and however you want to be.
SHERI A. OAKES, Chicago

When will all the Cinderella wannabes realize that "getting a man to marry you" doesn't mean "happily ever after"? Love the man, not the game, or see your divorce lawyer for the next set of rules.
DEBBIE ORLOFF, Boston

So Carolyn Bessette Kennedy is a Rules girl? Never mind the fact that she cohabited with JFK Jr. first? Ladies, be honest. Snaring a man is the same today as it always was: by any means necessary!
C. DEENIE LEWIS, Grand Rapids

ROBERT BAKER
Comparing O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Baker to a junkyard dog is an affront to working mongrels everywhere. Baker's vilification of Nicole Simpson, which amounted to a second murder, was an act unworthy of the mangiest scrap-yard canine. That he would assign his own son as accomplice is tantamount to child abuse.
DOUGLAS SOESBE, LOS Angeles

MAIL
Although I'm not a Nancy Kerrigan fan, I was dismayed to read the letters condemning her for skating while seven months pregnant. Folks, it's really none of your business. I'll bet Kerrigan cleared her skating with her obstetrician. She doesn't need to clear it with you.
KERRY BAILEY, Wentzville, Mo.

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