Mona Lisa Smile

As the marketing machine steps into high gear to push the new Julia Roberts movie, Mona Lisa Smile, Gothamist can't help but think it's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie lite, complete with a cheery Cranberries song in the trailer and TV commercials. A one-liner for the movie is "This is the story of a free-spirited Berkeley graduate in 1953 who takes a position as a teacher at the women's college, Wellesley." Add Julia Roberts' signature horse laugh ("BWA HA HA HA!"), some lovely ingenues in the form of Julia Stiles, Kirsten Dunst, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and it's box office gold. Since resistance is futile (we've clocked in time at one of the Seven Sisters, so we're very familiar with women's college dynamics), the upside is that at least Julia doesn't seem as constipated and hard as she does in Ocean's Eleven.

But what we really want to know is what The Prime of Miss Jean Brodieauthor Muriel Spark thinks. Read her Slate diaries from July 1996 and December 1996.