Crazy/Beautiful

Bomb Rating: 

Nicole has more problems than the Bush twins on penny-drink night in a Houston strip club.

Usually when a character falls in love with another character from "the wrong side of the tracks" the story involves a white girl falling for a boy of color and having to battle her slightly racist, yet generally well-meaning parents. Since Hollywood has all but run out of stories about teenagers, they've simply taken the Mad Lib approach to filmmaking with "Crazy/Beautiful" by switching the roles. In this case, the Hispanic kid, Carlos Nuñez (Jay Hernandez), is the straight-A student and the rich, white girl, Nicole Oakley (Kirsten Dunst), is the one causing all the problems.

Since Nicole's mother killed herself when Nicole was a young 'un, Nicole's taken to rebelling against her congressman father, Tom (Bruce Davison), and her evil stepmother, who focuses on Nicole's younger sister with near-dictatorial concern. Nicole has more problems than the Bush twins on penny-drink night in a Houston strip club. She gets trashed and screws everything in sight, though when she finally does the excited Carlos, her comment that "I didn't think it would be like that" is infinitely perplexing.

Despite a desire to attend the Naval Academy, young Carlos can't resist getting involved with Nicole because she rarely wears a bra, which means that she'll probably do him if he can just get close enough (apparently, braless women = easy). Though she's obviously an alcoholic and psychologically scarred beyond help, Carlos sees an opportunity to save a soul, which he does with aplomb amidst a torrent of catchy rock-n-roll songs that rain down upon the movie as Nicole and Carlos drive from one location to another, kiss and hug, and lie in bed discussing the finer points of teenage existence.

Originally there was supposed to be a scene in this movie where Nicole walks around topless, but Dunst declined to do the scene for fear that her first nude scene would be too distracting. Nevertheless, she dons one see-through shirt after another and director John Stockwell pretty much films up her loose-fitting shirt as she crawls around on the bed, thus revealing most of her cleavage anyway. Consequently, Dunst's use of overgarments has about as much effect as Shannon Elizabeth's on the MTV Movie Awards (which, for the uninitiated, were evidently constructed of some mystery substance slightly less opaque than cellophane.) One supposes that, like Shannon, Dunst wishes to be taken seriously, but may ultimately find that men in Hollywood are deer, and a flash of headlights is about the only thing that can be assured of truly catching their attention.

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