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crazy/beautiful DVD


Tagline: When it's real. When it's right. Don't let anything stand in your way.

For the Preshow Entertainment, we watched about an hour of drive-in movie interstitials. Drive-ins were notorious for less than institutional quality food while running on-screen ads that sold them as if you were eating at Ruth's Chris'. For example- "our hot dogs deserve an appreciative whistle!" They also advertised things like "bring your baby's bottle to the concession stand and we will warm it up for you free of charge!" In fact, they hit nearly every angle imaginable for you to attend the drive-in and patronize the snack bar.

But the majority of what we watched were for special Halloween shows. These were live shows that traveled the regular movie theater and the drive-in circuit (apparently there was one), did their schtick, then moved to the next drive-in. Hypnotists (Dr. Zomb is one, but we weren't sure if the B was silent), monsters, vampires, etc. Lots of "bring your boyfriend to hold!" and "The theater manager has the right to stop the show when it becomes too scary!" And, "They come into the audience and grab the pretty girls!"

The movie we saw was CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL. When released in 2001, it was such a refreshing antidote to the spate of teen movies. It was a drama, for one. And it was less of an overt fairy tale.

Directed by John Stockwell, who did INTO THE BLUE (a movie I can't bring myself to see even though it co-stars bronzed Jessica Alba and Her Bikini), C/B was tamed down for the PG-13 rating.

It's a glorified Afterschool Special, but so what? I thought they did a pretty good job with it. Free of make-up and bras, Kirsten Dunst plays Nicole, daughterova congressman and sunova bitch rebellious kid. Damaged and troubled with no webslinger to rescue her, she attends Pacific Palisades High. So does Latino Carlos, played by then newcomer Jay Hernandez.

Nicole and her friend Maddy (Taryn Manning) drive recklessly into their parking space at school. Carlos has to get a bus at 5:43am and travel 2 hours. That's the only jigsaw piece you need to finish the puzzle.

Like a frog on lily pads, C/B hops from one cliche to the next. And one can almost imagine the writers thinking, "let's spin every cliche!" The rich girl is the fuck up, the bad boy is the good boy, the "keep away from my daughter" speech is for the boy's sake and not the daughter's, and even that she is crazy and he is beautiful.

In the hands of lesser actors, this is an awful movie. But Dunst and Hernandez really breathe life into the movie. And you know, maybe we need a well-made Afterschool Special now and then. We like our corny lines (Stepmom to Nicole: "What kind of daughter are you!" Nicole: "Not yours!"), and our sugar coatings (Dad finally tells stepmom to get lost with "I am talking to my daughter!"). What the hell, if we can't get them in life, might as well get them in the movies.

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