Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon
Synopsis: Two wealthy, spoilt, and morally corrupt teenagers enter into a wager in which Ryan Phillippe will seduce the headmaster’s virginal daughter. Things don’t go to plan, however, when he finds himself falling for her girl-next-door charm.
Sometimes I wonder why it is that I am such a ho bag. Seriously, I’ve lost count of all the individuals I have had trysts with…and I’m not including that homeless guy that grabbed my ass one time. I suppose it’s part of that nature vs. nurture debate and, if I were to pick a side, I would say that it was more of a nurture thing. Why do I say that? Well maybe it’s because, at the age of 10, I idolised Buffy the vampire slayer. I didn’t want to be with her; I wanted to BE her. I wanted to be Buffy so badly that I watched everything Sarah Michelle Gellar was in so I could learn her secrets. Eventually I found myself watching Cruel Intentions. With this in mind, is it really surprising that I turned out the way I did?
Let me explain, Cruel Intentions is all about Sarah Michelle Gellar getting in touch with her bad self. Up until this film, she had only played do-gooders and likeable characters. In Cruel Intentions, she lets out her inner bitch-whore from hell and has a bloody good time doing it. She makes being a slut look like fun. How slutty does she get? Well…she propositions her step brother with something no red-blooded male can refuse.
Yes, that’s right. She offers her brother anal sex. They’re not related by blood, you understand, but it’s still pretty scandalous. I don’t remember Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons offering John Malkovich entry to her back passage…although they may have had a different word for it in 18th century France. So much of enjoyment can be had watching Gellar play the villain and it is obvious she really relished the opportunity to do it. She even looks as though she had fun making out in the park with Selma Blair.
It pains me to say, however, that aside from Gellar the film really doesn’t really offer much else in the way of brilliance. Despite having an impressive cast, none of them match Gellar’s ruthless charm (except maybe Christine Baranski who is brilliant in everything she is in purely because she is Christine Baranski). This is perhaps one of Witherspoon’s weakest roles and Phillippe doesn’t get naked nearly as much as he should. Moreover, the plot plods along at a rather slow pace and not enough is done at the outset of the movie to inspire empathy for Phillippe’s character. When the climax finally happened, I was rather underwhelmed. Having said that, the film does have a banging soundtrack and features instant 90s classics such as Every You Every Me, Coffee & TV, and Bitter Sweet Symphony.
All jokes about me being a ho aside, the film does offer one useful piece of advice to teenagers and young adults: it’s alright to get your baps out in private but for the love of God don’t take photos. Tara Reid learns the hard way in this movie….which is kind of ironic if you think about it….or maybe it’s just appropriate…
- Sarah Michelle Gellar inspiring me to be a cunt and a slag. Although, I do draw the line at cocaine and incest.
- Brilliant soundtrack.
- IT’S SO 90s!!!!! So much nostalgia.
- Score one for the lesbians.
- Boring and two-dimensional characters.
- Wealthy teenagers piss me off.
- Disappointing climax.
Cruel Intentions is not the sort of film that will inspire admiration and it’s not the sort of film that will make anyone’s top 10 list. It’s clunky in places and, at times, improperly thought out and executed. However, I would advise you to watch this film purely for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Although she’s no Meryl Streep, Gellar has her own strengths and her own charm which are deployed in full force here and it’s always fun to watch a movie that has a brilliant villain.