2001
Rated: R for graphic language, graphic violence, drug and alcohol use, and strong sexual content
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Christina Wayne
Running Time:
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/7/03
DVD Features:
Trailer
Interactive Features:
Interactive Menus
Scene Selection
If you like this, try: Bully, Cruel Intentions, The In Crowd, Kids, Girl.
TART

 

Catherine Storm (Dominique Swain  Lolita, Girl) is a middle-class reject who hangs out with her seductive best friend Delilah (Bijou Phillips  Almost Famous, Bully) whom tends to stay away from the posh in-crowd. After a chance encounter with a popular girl (Mischa Barton  Pups, The OC), she begins to become accepted among the status quo until she begins to see that popularity among upper class isn't all it's cracked up to be.
     Probably the best thing about this movie is the beautiful Bijou Phillips who performs with great grace and develops as a truly magnetic character towards the end of the movie. She's possibly the only really emphasized character among the characters in this movie. She's rich like everyone else yet is strikingly real amidst the phonies and drug users. I would have loved to see more of her because she's only featured in about a quarter of the movie and her scenes are the best. She's a better actress than I usually give her credit for and seems the only sensible person in the film.

This is yet another grim portrayal of troubled teenagers mingling among more troubled teenagers; and what's truly disturbing is that most of it seems exaggerated. I'm not sure if the movie was inspired by true events or concocted by Christina Wayne, but it's grim, and I wish most of it was even remotely interesting. You have to wonder if this story makes even the slightest bit of sense or even has a point or moral by the finale. We watch the gorgeous Swain once again portraying the troubled outcast as she does in every movie as we see her chronicles through teenage angst and drug use and yadda yadda. It's a shame she never stretches her abilities as an actress because she always plays the same role. I've seen this character before in "Girl". Brad Renfro also continues the same troubled drug user as he did in "Bully", and "Deuce's Wild" and these acts are getting very old. The story drags on like a slug, slowly developing into nothing, sparking some interesting plot points and humorous characters but the finishing product is blank. We get the sense that Cat's mother is somehow judgmental but she's mostly a broad stroke of a character in which we never get to learn the essence or colors of; we also get the sense that her father is basically drawn away from her life which makes her troubled but he's once again a broad stroke, and possibly a mob boss, but we never receive a true affirmation of his character's motives of lifestyle.
    
Catherine is a truly interesting character and is sometimes a droll one as her room is plastered with pictures of Mick Jagger in which she has an obvious obsession with, but that's never played upon once again. The story takes a dark turn towards the last fifteen minutes and once again we're pulled in a different direction with the movie. We're pulled in all sorts of directions by Wayne in the movie which goes from a poignant coming of age tale for Cat, to a melodrama about teen's, to a black comedy, then to a romance, and then a murder mystery. The last five minutes make absolutely no sense as the mother and daughter seal old wounds, but it seems forced and detached from the actual plot at hand; also it bears no relevance to preceding events and it never lets us feel heart broken because the mother/daughter allegory is never shown nor is it emphasized. Director and writer Christina Wayne has an idea of what she wants her movie to be about but can never pick which theme she wants to confront, so every character development, and plot twist, and event seems tacked on and scattered amidst these range of characters.

A poorly developed uninteresting movie that doesn't know which direction it wants to take in its storytelling. Bijou Phillips is great but the rest is just filler.