Projections - Movie Reviews

Crazy/Beautiful crazy/beautiful

Traveling in a well worn path crazy/beautiful places Nicole (Kirsten Dunst) and Carlos (Jay Hernandez) as young lovers who challenge the status quo by frightening parents and changing the equation at their high school.

Nicole, the troubled daughter of wealthy Congressman Tom Oakley (Bruce Davison), is a student from the upscale Pacific Palisades, California community who has an immediate flash in her eye when she meets Carlos, a straight-A student who spends two hours on a bus each day to get to the prestigious school in her community.

While it appears to her friends and family that her romance is simply defiance, the two young lovers become romantically involved with each other.

The twist here, plays on the idea that Carlos who comes from the wrong side of the tracks is the safe, steady and determined stable member of the couple and Nicole who lives in a beautiful glass house with a powerful father is seriously troubled.  She does for her Congressman father what the twins do for George Bush.

Her excuse for drinking, skipping class and generally acting out is that her mother died when she was young and of course she has a wicked step mother in Courtney (Lucinda Jenney).  Courtney plays into that role by paying attention to a younger little sister and demanding superficial perfection in the family.

While we see Courtney as a slender uptight climber, Carlos' mother (Soledad St. Hilaire) looks and acts more like mothers from the past, she cooks, prays, wears large dresses and is not happy with the intruder in her culture.  Nicole is crazy and Carlos is beautiful in her eyes.

The lover's crisis comes when her father promises Carlos a nomination to a military academy if he stops seeing Nicole.  Interesting enough her father believes Carlos is a very worthy young man and his daughter is not good enough for him.

The story has a slight twist but this teen love stuff has been seen many times over and even the two attractive young  performers find themselves caught in silly putty.  Ridiculous lines like "look how nice your skin color looks against mine" and "my father won't mind seeing us having sex, because he is liberal and will like the idea that I'm with a minority," fill the script.

Taryn Manning who plays a very effective Maddy, Nicole's pal, shows us her rich girl freedom by forgetting to wear a blouse and expressing the need for her relationship with Nicole which appears to be the only genuine connection available to her.

The two lost girls and the rock solid Carlos roam through the trite insulting script and we know in the end that crazy/beautiful is not crazy and certainly not beautiful.


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