The Young Victoria *** ( 3 STARS) Starring Emily Blunt as the 18-year-old queen of England circa 1837, this film is such a rich pastiche of first love, teen empowerment, fabulous fashion and fate that you almost wish a few brooding vampires had been thrown in for good measure, since that's the crowd that should fall head over heels for this movie. Which isn't to suggest that it's sophomoric. It is anything but. What filmmaker Jean-Marc Vall?e has done in this delicious historical romance is capture that hot blush of pure emotion that comes before kisses, sex, heartbreak and the rest can dilute it.

Opening next Friday

Edge of Darkness: (Warner Bros.) When a homicide detective investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a government cover-up. With Mel Gibson and Danny Huston.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee : (Screen Media Films) A married woman leading a seemingly idyllic life embarks on a journey of self-discovery after moving to a retirement community with her older husband. With Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Blake Lively and Keanu Reeves.

When in Rome: (Touchstone Pictures) On a trip to Rome, a lovelorn New Yorker's luck changes when she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love. With Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel.

Opening Feb. 5

Dear John: (Screen Gems) A soldier falls for a conservative college student while he's home on leave. With Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks.

From Paris With Love : (Lionsgate) A young bureaucrat and an American spy join forces to stop a terrorist attack in Paris. With John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Release dates are subject to change.

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