Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Cruel Intentions

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon,& Selma Blair
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 97 minutes

It's quite tragic that I've heard so many good things about this movie and I'm just now seeing it. It deserves all the praise that I have heard too.

We follow upper crest step siblings Kathryn and Sebastian, during their summer break. They are both very in touch with their sexuality and it becomes a somewhat important element in their lives. Sebastian is tired of picking up every naive pretty girls with somewhat low self esteem and having his way with them. On the other hand, Kathryn has learned that the guy she has been seeing has found a new subject to keep him occupied. Cecile Caldwell is an awkward girl that is transferring from an all girl academy and her mother has entrusted Kathryn to taking care of her as she is class president and a seemingly good, responsible person. Unfortunately, Cecile is Kathryn's target of tarnishing as she's sick of the innocent always winning the men.

Kathryn attempts to bring Sebastian into her evil plan, but he has a plan of his own. Sebastian's target is Annette Hargrove, daughter of the new headmaster of their school. She piqued his interest by an article he read in Seventeen about waiting for love and being pure. Kathryn proposes a bet, since Annette will be staying with their aunt for the summer break. If Sebastian can deflower Annette before she completes her plan and before the break is over, he can sleep with her. If he loses, then Kathryn gets his prized possession: a classic sports car.

Although this movie revolves around the art of seduction, it does have an underlying darkness and betrayal in the storyline that makes it intriguing. The chemistry between Sebastian and Kathryn is both interesting and slightly uncomfortable, even though they are only step siblings. Nonetheless, the thought of siblings having such a sexual tension is taboo. Cecile and Annette are also easy to become attached to and you feel sympathy for what they have to go through in this odd sibling rivalry.

I thought the cast choices were good and I can't imagine anyone else taking on such roles. Although, I was surprised by a couple things. I've never seen this dark side of Sarah Michelle Gellar before. It was shocking and admirable at the same time. Another thing that stood out was Reese Witherspoon's character Annette. It was nice seeing a strong female character not falling so easily for the handsome villain's game. Aside for commending the acting, the ending of the movie was absolutely brilliant and unexpected.

If you have not seen this 90's classic, then you should definitely pick it up.

Rating: 4.5/5

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