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Let Costner Be Simply a 'Regular Guy'

January 24, 1998

So "The Postman" didn't deliver female viewers, and people are wondering why ("It Wasn't Rain, Sleet, Snow or Dark of Night," by Robert W. Welkos, Jan. 13)? I can tell you why, as a woman who usually likes Kevin Costner but didn't go to see either "Postman" or "Waterworld."

First, the apocalypse-overload theory is partially true. Women are very much tuned into what the world will be like when their children grow up. There's enough violence happening now without projecting it into the future.

Second, Costner can't really act; let's face it. He's at his cutest, sexiest best in regular-guy roles like in "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams" and "Tin Cup," where he's basically playing himself. And although "Dances With Wolves" was somewhat heavier, he still played an appealing "regular guy."

But Costner as a dramatic hero? I don't think so. He's stilted and comes across not as the character but as Kevin Costner-trying-to-act. Bor-ing! If more women had executive positions in the studios, maybe they would have figured this out sooner. To ensure a Costner film delivers female viewers, give him a script that works to his strengths, not his ego.


Van Nuys

If Welkos asked me why I went to see "The Postman" (twice), I would say because Kevin Costner was in it. If he asked a friend of mine why she didn't go see it, she would say because Kevin Costner was in it. If he asked the woman across the hall why she didn't go see it, she would say because she had heard it wasn't very good.

You can analyze it to death, but if you ever discover the answer, you'll be rich.



Welkos' article took some unfair shots at letter carriers, especially his comment that "the movie sought to portray a letter carrier as a hero of mythic proportions in an era when postal employees have become the butt of jokes on Leno and Letterman."

The tarnished image of postal employees is untrue and undeserved. More accurately, this is an "era" when the American public has given our Postal Service the highest rating of all government agencies. This is an agency that just finished its highest performance year ever, setting a national record of 92% on-time delivery of first-class mail, 94% in Southern California.

Letter carriers donate their time, on the second Saturday of each May, to a food drive that last year saw 73 million pounds donated to food banks and participate in the "Carrier Alert" system in many communities, in which we notify the authorities to check on elderly or disabled customers who do not pick up their mail and may be lying injured and helpless in their homes.

Letter carrier heroes are commonplace in the post office, reporting and aiding victims of fires, crime, accidents and injuries witnessed while on their appointed rounds. Should any such mishap befall you, pray that a letter carrier is there to help.


President, National Assn.

of Letter Carriers, Branch 24

Los Angeles

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