Cruel Intentions (1999)

(In theaters, March 1999) This film isn’t very good, but it’s much more entertaining than what one might expect. A hilariously “modern” adaptation of French 18th century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cruel Intentions benefits from the strength of the original material to stand heads and shoulders above the other rather insipid “teen romance” movies. The film isn’t believable as itself, but acquires an extra dimension when you consider the various tweaks and changes they’ve made to take an old novel and present it to modern audiences. (Eg; Sebastian’s money-driven charm is implausible in itself, but entirely believable when considering the original aristocratic character.) Surprisingly tame for its raunchy potential, it manages a few good moments—like the “Bittersweet Symphony” ending. While Cruel Intentions was hailed as “not a good date movie”, I must report that my two straight-laced female companions did like the film.

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