crazy/beautiful Movie Review
We've seen it before, and we'll see it again... the same old love story about two young people from different sides of the tracks embarking on a love affair, with many obstacles to overcome, mainly the parents. crazy/beautiful tries to put a twist on things by making the rich girl the dangerous one, but in the end, it is the same movie.
Kirsten Dunst stars as the daughter of a Congressman in California, who has an alcohol and drug problem and has no real ambitions in life. Dunst usually commands the screen, whether in the presence of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in The Interview with the Vampire, or even as a cheerleader in Bring it On, but in crazy/beautiful, she is watered down to a stereotypical rebel; she likes to drink, jump around, act crazy, and most of all, like all rebellious teenagers, scream constantly when delighted. Dunst does a decent job, but it is obvious that her character is a little too far from her real person to make sense to her. Dunst can do the rebellious teenager bit, but maybe in a more serious role. crazy/beautiful is more serious than most other teen romance movies, but it is still a teen romance. I think Dunst is a great actress, but all her charm is gone here. Her character is so loosely rebellious at times that she is just annoying, and Dunst only can show her talents when she gets a crying scene, but those moments seem farfetched as well because she must be the most moody person on the planet. And crazy/beautiful is also trying to make her lusty and sexy here, but, let's face it - she looks a lot better with long, blonde hair.
Even though Dunst is not great, she is still decent, because she is a good actress. Kudos to newcomer Jay Hernandez, though, for he dominates the screen. He is handsome, likeable, and a sure draw for the ladies; he also does an excellent job. He gives a reasonable perspective of a poor Latino that wants to get good grades, yet is torn between his future and "love." Where Dunst was restricted by her character, Hernandez is only restricted by the script.
The script is a little better than most teen romances in that it takes itself a little more seriously, but at the same time it might be too serious for its own good. Like most teen movies, the romance is treated as if things will last forever, even though it is just a high school relationship. That's usually okay for story's sake, but crazy/beautiful acts as though the people on screen are five or ten years older, and actually ready to sit down. The question is raised as to whether Hernandez's character will choose a university or the so-called "love of his life," but that question should not be raised in a movie like this, because in high school, "love" should not be the first priority.
Still, despite some flaws, crazy/beautiful flows rather well and is moderately entertaining, as a more serious teen romance movie goes. I think the movie could have been pulled off better with an R-rating, since it obviously wants to treat itself as an adult film.
What really drags is the final twenty minutes, which is cliché, boring, and unrealistic. That question I mentioned earlier is brought up again, and everything unfolds into a nice little package wrapped perfectly with a bow. It is as if the screenwriter just decided he was tired and threw in an ending like all of the rest, not bothering to create a realistic conflict, especially between Dunst and her on-screen father (Bruce Davison, from X-Men).
crazy/beautiful is okay, but it needed to take itself less seriously and work out some flaws in Dunst's character.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.