Crazy/Beautiful (2001)

(In theaters, September 2001) My initial reaction at seeing the trailers for this film was to wonder if there was something -*anything*- in there to motivate me to go. There wasn’t. Even after watching the film, I still can’t see any reason to see it. As soon as you define the genre (teen romance between a rich white girl and a poor ethnic kid), you pretty much have a good idea of where and how the film is going. The only particularity is the self-destructive personality of the female lead, which gives rise to the only interesting scene of the film, a sequence where the father of the girl promises to sign the guy’s military academy admission papers only if he stops seeing the girl… for the guy’s own good. The film soon after reverts to true Hollywood form, complete with happy weepy ending. It doesn’t help that in addition to the linear nature of the story, the film is one of the ugliest piece of cinema of the year, with “naturalistic” cinematography that just ends up looking dirty and unpleasant. A good script could have helped matter, but what we’re stuck with is a simplistic clunker that charms no one. (The film’s most vivid audience reaction at my screening was caused by improper framing and errant boom microphones. The biggest laugh happened after the girl says to the guy “My father’s away until midnight. We is all alone!”… and they’re followed by the overhead microphone.) Kirsten Dunst might be in the film for credibility points (she basically plays the antithesis of her cheerleader protagonist from Bring It On) but chances are that no one will remember this film in six months.

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