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Crazy/Beautiful

  Directed by: John Stockwell
Written by: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez
Links: Crazy/Beautiful on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Romance

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Promising/Disappointing" - a review by mino

Look: if you don't know by now that I'm a sucker for a quality teen flick, then you haven't been paying attention. I love a quality angst-riddled movie aimed fairly and squarely at the high school market, whether it be Sixteen Candles (1984) or 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). A bit of funny, a bit of silly, and a bit of soppy: mix 'em all together and stir 'em all up and I'm there, baby, I'm there. And, if it has Kirsten Dunst in it, well, hey, all the better.

Dunst has just that right mix of innocence and cheekiness to pull off the part at chief troublemaker/ingenue in a teen movie perfectly (well… had it. Let's not flatter her too much, eh?), and it's her that makes Crazy/Beautiful a fairly enjoyable film.

Dunst is Nicole Oakley, a heroine who's a very long way from your typical teen movie starlet. While she's the beloved child of a rich and powerful family, she's certainly not all sparkles and light like your typical privileged poppet in such movies. Far from peppy, Nicole is a rather dark and tortured young thing who, despite her station, is in trouble with teachers, the law, and her family. She has serious self-esteem issues and is generally not the world's most happy-go-lucky soul. When she meets Carlos, though, things start to change. Despite the fact that he's Hispanic, and from the wrong side of the tracks (and she hence has some problems fitting into his culture), they get along famously, and seem perfect for each other. Of course, it can't be that simple, though, and their blossoming young romance has no shortage of trials and tribulations it has to go through.

The first thing you'll notice about Crazy/Beautiful is that it's much darker than your typical teen flick — and this is very much something that works in its favour. It's not exactly gritty and depressing, but it does touch on some issues — racism, drugs, and suicide, for example — which are rather darker than you'll usually see, and Dunst's character is far more complex and interesting than is often found in such movies. Jay Hernandez is also quite intriguing as Carlos, making what could be a rather two-dimensional stereotype into a rather endearing and sympathetic character. I mean, hell, he was nice enough that I was swooning over him. What a doll!

Unfortunately, though, Crazy/Beautiful is a bit of a let-down. While its rather dark and earthy take on the teen flick is most interesting, alas, it falls down in the second half into just another piece of formulaic guff. The ending is very weak, and the last quarter or so of the film. basically undoes all the good work done by the first three-quarters. The romance is charming enough, but parts of it do tend to drag, and it would be nice if a bit more time was spent exploring some of the darker aspects rather than tying up loose ends Disney-style.

Crazy/Beautiful is an entertaining take on a well-worn genre, without being too daring. Therefore, it comes across as something a bit too test-audiencey: intriguing, but never really goes as far as it needs to.

mino gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 6 Sep 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. I can't believe you didn't mention the fact that Dunst gets around without a bra on for the duration of the film.

    A comment from nofreelist's own pearly on Mon 06 Sep 2004 18:16 #

  2. Neither can I, Nic, neither can I.

    A comment from nofreelist's own mino on Tue 07 Sep 2004 09:53 #

  3. I thought it was an excellent movie

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Anna on Thu 19 May 2005 23:02 #

  4. fabulous film! and jay is just so fine! should see him in more films! anyone know how i can get any stills of the diary that Dunst writes in the film?

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from chloe on Sun 24 Jul 2005 01:15 #

  5. I loved this film!!!! jay is so hott I wish I was Dunst in this movie!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from falynn on Sun 09 Oct 2005 02:29 #

  6. I can watch this movie over and over....and not get tired of it..Jay Hernandez is GORGEOUS!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from natalie on Mon 26 Dec 2005 14:59 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (4 ratings)

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