Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Jawbreaker (3½ Stars)

This film is usually compared with "Heathers", but I see it more as a cross between "Mean Girls" and "I know what you did last summer". Courtney, Marcie, Julie and Liz are the four "in" girls of Reagan High School, the stereotypical mean girls who have set themselves up as the style queens, but talk down on anyone else who dares to try to enter their clique. On Liz's 17th birthday the other three play a prank on her by kidnapping her and taking her to a bridge to photograph her in her underwear. Mean! They put a jawbreaker (called a gobstopper in England) in her mouth and tape her mouth shut to keep her quiet. On arrival at the bridge they see that she's swallowed the jawbreaker and has choked to death. They carry her back to her house and make her death look like she was a rape victim. A nerdy girl called Fern catches the girls setting up the "rape", but Courtney buys her silence by giving her a makeover and allowing her to take Liz's place in their clique. The trouble is that the makeover works too well. Fern now considers herself the school's most beautiful girl and looks down on the other three.

Four pretty young girls, attractive eye candy, but not a very strong story. I know that the film was meant to be a vehicle to promote Rose McGowan as a new sex symbol -- the film was made in 1999 -- but to me the most attractive woman in the film by far is Pam Grier, who plays the police detective handling the murder case. She outshines the younger competition even though she doesn't wear a short skirt or a low cut top. And watch out for a brief appearance by Marilyn Manson, in his second film role after "Lost Highway".

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