Love Don't Cost a Thing Movie Review
Though it might have some of the best visual effects of any movie in 2003, the inane comedy Love Don't Cost a Thing does come at a price - your precious time.
Filled with cheesy stereotypes and obnoxious characters, there is little to root for in this so-called comedy. The biggest problem perhaps is the fact the main character is so silly and annoying that it is impossible to respect him, let alone like him. Nick Cannon, who starred in the surprisingly decent Drumline in 2002, plays such a character, a loser of a kid who gets his chance to become popular when the girl of his dreams, Paris Morgan, crashes her car and agrees that in exchange for him fixing it she will pretend that he is her boyfriend for two weeks. Of course, everyone can't believe it at first, but once he cuts his amazingly bad hair and starts wearing different clothes, they welcome him with open arms. He also becomes a jackass that turns his back on his friends, but we all know it will end up happily ever after by the time the credits roll.
Christina Milian, who plays Paris, is much more likeable as the love interest. She, of course, is popular but at the same time caring. The dynamics of her character are a bit more interesting, as dating a complete loser probably would hurt her reputation in real life; at the same time, it's high school, and it isn't the end of anyone's life.
The moral of the story, as is the case with all movies like this, is that if you be yourself someone will finally like you, which, for the most part, I believe to be true. However, I do not think that the people that are responsible for repetitive and unoriginal trash like this really grasp the morality they are trying to sprinkle on the audience... Love Don't Cost a Thing is a teen comedy, and so there is really no reason to go so deep; however, this movie's portrayal of high school is so bad it made me cringe.
The big problem with this movie is that the makers of this film are so inaccurate in depicting a high school that it is impossible to take it seriously, even as a comedy. Most movies get the dynamics between the "popular" kids and the "unpopular" kids wrong, in that while clichés do form they are rarely exclusive. The jocks hardly ever shun nerds in public, and it really isn't a social sigma to be seen talking to one. In Love Don't Cost a Thing, Cannon's character and his friends get their asses kicked when they even try to venture into the "cool" hall, as if any high school is broken into such hierarchical classifications. It just makes no sense and takes all credibility out of the film.
The only thing really going for Love Don't Cost a Thing is the women, and there are plenty of them to go around. The visual effects I spoke of earlier are the natural eye candies sprinkled throughout the movie; though I know of few high schools that would actually allow the clothing that is worn in the movie, I cannot complain about the attire worn by the female members of the cast.
Unfortunately, Love Don't Cost a Thing is so bad that even a bunch of beautiful women in tight and revealing clothing cannot make this film worth it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.