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crazy/beautiful (PG-13)
Official Site
Director: John Stockwell
Producer: Rick Dallago, Rachel Pfeffer, Guy Riedel, Harry J. Ufland, Mary Jane Ufland
Written by: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez, Bruce Davison, Lucinda Jenney, Taryn Manning

Rating: out of 5

crazy/beautiful is neither crazy nor beautiful. However, through an indefinable likeability and good acting by its young stars, the film somehow shines. Well, maybe not shines, but definitely glows dimly.

First-time screenwriters Hay and Manfredi, who show promise, but unfortunately also a penchant for the over-dramatic, penned crazy/beautiful. Realistic scenes that seem as if the camera simply filmed the actors messing around contrast with over-the-top melodrama, and this disparity leads to the film’s unevenness. Dunst’s final confrontation with her career-driven, apathetic father (Davison) plainly shows the melodrama. No one talks like she does in that scene. However, the scenes of friendship between Dunst and Manning give pretty good insight into the relationships between “girls gone wild,” so to speak. Considering this script is a first effort though and assuming they leave the melodrama out, the next script from Hay and/or Manfredi could possibly be very good.

What will make audiences and critics take notice of this film though, is Kirsten Dunst. Since her turn as Claudia in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE up through 1999’s THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and last year’s BRING IT ON, Dunst has garnered critical acclaim and audience appreciation. crazy/beautiful doesn’t stretch her acting muscles, but it yet again proves that she has them. Dunst and her costar Hernandez, best known for MTV’s campy soap “Undressed,” are both riveting screen presences and as a couple they are dynamic. Both make the best of their mediocre script and make the film worth two hours and $5.

Let’s be honest though, this is a teen movie starring one of the most popular young actresses around and a guy I predict will soon be touted as a new heartthrob. No one in the target audience really cares about the script, the acting or anything else “cinematic.” Girls want to see a love story with a cute boy and guys want to see Dunst run around sans bra. Both sexes get plenty of what they want, as crazy/beautiful follows a pretty failsafe formula that will most likely bring the MTV set to theaters in droves.

—Renae Bolen

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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