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Richard Linklater dazzled many among the twentysomething set with his last movie, "Slacker." Portraying the dead-end life in sleepy Austin, Texas, the film was embraced by Generation Xers who felt it explained why they were so determinedly listless. "Before Sunrise" -- his newest effort -- may serve a similar purpose for the same group in their attempts to express their romantic feelings, says TIME critic Richard Corliss. Still, the movie, which basically follows an extended conversation between a guy and a girl who meet on a train, falls flat, Corliss feels. "This two-character talkfest, a kind of Eric Rohmer meets Harry meets Sally, wins points for daring to be a love story," says Corliss. But the banter "often plays like desperate showing-off."BOOKS . . . A PRIVATE VIEW (Random House; 242 pages; $23): This wise and funny novel is about love between two people with very little in common: a woman filled with flaky California-isms (adept as she is in Vibrasound, Tantric Massage, Reflexology, Color Counseling) and a decent and honest -- but bland -- man. The book, says Time critic Martha Duffy, is a "welcome surprise." In the end, the duo part, but Brookner's "triumph lies in the story's resolution."