Sunday, March 30, 2008

Flipping through the Channels: Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions
Directed by Roger Kumble
Released March 5, 1999

Ah, what a fantastically ridiculous film. I first watched this movie at least five or six years ago when I could not fully appreciate its camp nature and its true awfulness that is so clearly apparent in my most recent viewing on HBO. Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar try so hard to be aloof and above everything with all their fancy opinions and never-ending wealth. Truth be told, both Phillippe and Gellar are not actually good actors (sorry, Buffy fans! Don’t kill me!), and watching them try to out do each other is both painful and hilarious at the same time. Their desire to sexualize (a word?) everything is a lot to take, but it is consistently entertaining to watch them as they try to sleep with everyone. Substance-wise, this movie has a lot less in it than I initially remembered. I thought that I remembered the infamous horse scene from this movie, but I think that I missed it while I getting up to get some cake. Even without seeing that, I can still find Selma Blair’s performance absolutely fascinating, and appreciate the small roles given to both Swoosie Kurtz and Christine Baranski. And then there’s the music. “Every You, Every Me”, “Colorblind”, and especially “Bittersweet Symphony” are used so perfectly in this movie, not to mention the stellar score. Overall, this is one amazingly entertaining but completely ridiculous film that makes me laugh and cringe at all times throughout.

Entertainment value: A
Quality grade: C-

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