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STREEP’S STICKING TO HER DIET

MERYL STEPS UP TO THE STOVE AGAIN IN NANCY MEYERS' STILL-UNTITLED ROMANTIC COMEDY

Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, Zoe Kazan, Hunter Parrish, Rita Wilson, James Patrick Stuart, Daryl Sabara (Written and directed by Nancy Meyers; Universal) Opens 12/25/09

Way back in 1986, in Mike Nichols' “Heartburn,” Meryl Streep played a Nora Ephronish author who dabbled in her own little kitchen while her Carl Bernsteinish husband diddled in other women’s  bedrooms. Clearly, Streep has always had a knack for having fun with food, not to mention marital folly. Soon we’ll see her simmering soups and skewering kebobs again in “Julie & Julia,” a fact-based story about mega-chef Julia Child, who sipped, sniffed and spilled her way to fame on her jolly, addictively popular TV show, even as her left-wing husband was being roasted in real life by right-wing loonies.

So what’s cooking now for Streep? A yet-to-be-titled  romantic comedy by Nancy Meyers, the writer-director who whipped up a frothy romantic triangle comprised of  sexy seniors Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson and post-juvenile Keanu Reeves for 2003’s “Something’s Gotta Give.” In the new Meyers confection, Streep is cast as a chef/baker whose lopsided marriage to a can’t-get-enough-of-himself husband (Alec Baldwin) has fallen flat. As a result, she is in the market for a new mate. But who's her best bet?  The hot-blooded, conspicuously youthful Romeo played by John Krasinski, of “The Office” fame, or the reticent intellectual portrayed by Steve Martin? Mamma Mia! What’s an addled, middle-aged divorcee to do?