John Tucker Must Die (2006)

Rating: F

Dir: Betty Thomas
Star: Brittany Snow, Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti, Sophia Bush

I’m very, very sorry. Based upon the first five minutes, I was expecting this to be in the vein of Mean Girls or Heathers; an edgy satire, ripping the heads off the Barbies who infest American high-schools. The reality is, unfortunately, closer to the vapid romance of 10 Things I Hate About You, with the kind of brain-dead plotting that made Chris bail before the end. The basic plot sees four girls team up to take down the titular school basketball captain (Metcalfe), a womanizing hunk who has cheated on three of them. After their schemes backfire, enhancing his reputation instead, they plan to use the fourth (Snow) to break his heart, only for her to start to fall for her target. He also has an almost as cute brother. I trust you can see where this is all going.

Let’s see. Metcalfe was 27. Snow, 20. Ashanti, 25. Bush, 24. No surprise, it isn’t convincing in the slightest, seeing them play high-school students, directed by the 58-year old Thomas. It also stretches credulity to believe someone as conventional and pretty as Snow would be unwanted at school, even one of these mythical Hollywood ones, where everyone is freshly airbrushed off the cover of a magazine. The longer it goes on, the more painfully apparent it is, that the film has no interest in doing anything apart from massaging the psyches of those vacuous enough to think the movie ‘speaks’ to them.

The ending just has to be seen to be believed, it’s that ridiculous; think the anti-Carrie. I only persisted because I wanted to get some return for the hour I’d invested before realising how hard this was going to suck – even if it was only a review. Maybe I can save some of you from a similar fate, especially if you catch the start and have similar unrealistic expectations.