Wild Child

2008

Wild Child

Critics Consensus

More mild than wild. This tween comedy mess falls flat on its face due to poor characters, poor direction and poor jokes.

41%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,478
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Movie Info

Sixteen-year-old Poppy is a self-obsessed, incorrigible brat who lives a pampered life in her L.A. world. Although she's handed credit cards with unlimited balances and surrounded by countless hangers on, Poppy can't escape the mounting frustration she feels with her family situation. And she makes sure that everyone knows it. After an over-the-top prank pushes her father one step too far, Poppy is shipped off to an English boarding school. Finding herself in a foreign world of early curfews, stern matrons and mandatory lacrosse, the American princess has finally met her match: a school of British girls who won't tolerate her spoiled ways. Under the watchful eye of the school's headmistress and surrounded by a new circle of friends, Poppy begrudgingly realizes her bad-girl behavior will only get her so far. But just because she must grow into a fine young lady doesn't mean this "wild child" won't be spending every waking hour shaking up a very proper system.

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Critic Reviews for Wild Child

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (16)

Audience Reviews for Wild Child

  • Sep 02, 2018
    I gotta be honest, back in the day I may have had a small, tiny crush on Emma Roberts. This would have been when I first saw her which, I think, would have been around 2009-ish when I rented Lymelife. I don't even know if I would call it a "crush", which sounds absurd to me but whatever, it was more like 'oh, she's cute' kind of thing. Yes, yes, that might be sexist, but that is what I thought at the time. It didn't really last that long and I've moved on, for I knew that our love was not meant to be. In all seriousness though, I don't know what it is about Emma Roberts, but she's never fully clicked as an actress for me. I mean she's certainly good enough when she has a role she's invested in (like The Blackcoat's Daughter as an example), but I feel that, by this point, she should have, on a consistent basis, proven to be a better actress than she has. And, again, I'm not even saying that she's bad, because she's actually good, it's just that she should be better. I don't know, it is what it is. Having said all of that, I really have no fucking clue why I decided to watch this movie. Yesterday, while nothing really bad happened, wasn't a particularly good day, so I felt like picking something a little bit mindless, silly and lighthearted. I guess you could say that this fits all three criteria. And I'm not gonna argue that but, of course, there's nothing about this movie, prior to watching it, that suggests that this would speak to me. It's not a movie aimed for me. But just because something isn't aimed for me doesn't mean that I can't get some enjoyment out of it regardless. Though, in the case of this movie, I wish I could say I DID get some enjoyment out of this movie. It's interesting, because I've learned to appreciate everything I have, coming from a lower to (somewhat) middle class family, raised by a single mother. Well, really, my mother worked and my aunt raised me, so it was a two-woman effort. Actually three-woman effort if you count my grandma as well, who lived with us. Though, honestly, my grandma's contributions were negligible. Not trying to be harsh or anything, it's just the facts. I had everything I needed, but not everything I wanted because, again, we didn't have enough money for all of us to get what we wanted at all times. I bring this up because I often wonder how my life would have been wildly different if my family was wealthy. How would that have changed me? Of course I would not be the same person I am now, how could I be? I would have been brought up completely differently and most certainly taught different things. I probably wouldn't even have lived in this island if it wasn't absolutely necessary. The point is that I wonder if I would have been a spoiled rich kid or something. I'd like to think I wouldn't be, but it's not something I would know unless my life was totally different. Regardless, this brings us to this movie. Spoiled Malibu rich girl Poppy acts up one too many times for her father and he takes drastic measures and sends her to a boarding school in England to, hopefully, instill some values and respect into her. It's exactly the movie you would expect it to be with Poppy struggling to adjust to a more rigid and strict world when she was normally used to doing whatever she want, when she wanted to. She hates every second of it, wants to get expelled, blah, blah, blah, culture clashes, blah, blah, blah. She's forced to room with four other girls and, of course, they hate each other at first. While the flick is perfectly harmless in the long run, there's no real personality to this movie to speak of. I think that, for the people who wrote this movie, the need to be harmless goes hand in hand with having no real personality. And that just couldn't be farther from the truth. Of course, I'm not saying that that's what the people who wrote this movie thought, but watching the movie, it comes across that way. Poorly-written characters with no personalities other than, maybe, Poppy, cringeworthy attempts at humor (particularly in hindsight). And that's not to mention some of the dance scenes where they try to make Poppy or, later, the lacrosse team, look like they're the coolest gal(s) in school. The worst of them all is when the lacrosse team, near the very end of the movie, do this dance that, at first, starts off like a Maori war dance. First of all, wicked cultural appropriation there. Secondly, and even worse, it's so bad. They try so hard to make it seem like 'oh, look at how cool this lacrosse team is' and it just falls flat on its face. I felt shame more than anything else, that's how bad it is. Another thing, while the cast of Poppy's flatmates, are solid, I don't like the movie's forced bonding between the group. It just feels so fake and unnatural. Like these five would not be friends in real life unless they were paid to pretend. So, because of that, I feel that most of the actresses overcompensate for it. Though, to be fair, that's probably the director's fault. He was the one instructing them to act this way instead of, maybe, letting the friendship blossom naturally. They bond through "witty" banter, talking about boys, shopping sprees, makeovers, dancing together, laughing together, hugsies and whatnot. And none of it works, like, ever. This is like the stereotype the screenwriter has of female teen friendship and bonding. And the movie was written by a woman. So you'd think that, because of that, this movie might be a little more poignant and insightful with its portrayal of this friendship, but it just fails. Quite miserably too. Perhaps the only good thing in the movie is Harriet, who plays Poppy's snobbish rival. It's not that her scenes are hilarious, but there's a few funny moments involving her character, like when she dresses up as Keira Knightley's character from Pride and Prejudice and she has her two yes-women dress up as the male character from that movie. That might be the only bit in the movie that made me chuckle. Nick Frost also has a cameo here and he's about as good as he can be for what amounts for a cameo. Those are the only two things I remotely liked about this movie. There's also a bland romantic angle with Poppy falling for the headmistress' son. I don't know what else you want me to say about this movie. It's perfectly harmless fare meant for the teen Disney crowd. But to say that it's harmless doesn't mean that it's any good, because this is a bad movie. I don't believe I have to mention all the negatives, since I already went over them in about as much detail as I really want to right now and I don't wish to elaborate any more on what I saw. I've seen worse, to be sure, but there's nothing to see here and you should move along to something better. Like, I don't know, popping that zit that's been pestering you for the past week.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2011
    Suprisingly good film considering the 'mild' teen films that we have around today. I'd agree with the name of the film, the main word being 'wild' as it's not afraid to mention things such as sex or alcohol. Comedic in some scenes and Emma Roberts and Alex Pettyfer have good chemistry. Although predictable, it's not awful and I'd consider this one of my guilty pleasures.
    Bethany M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2011
    Nothing really wild about this picture but nothing offensive either. Young teenage girls will probably like it if they can identify with the slightly overage cast.
    The S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2010
    <i>"I didn't start it, it wasn't my fault, and if this were America, I would sue."</i><p> <i>Wild Child</i> reminds me so much of <i>The House Bunny</i> - the way the plot works and the characters. However, the film works somehow, it actually is a likeable film. <u>SUMMARY:</u><p> Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts) lives with her younger sister Molly (Lexi Ainsworth) and her father (Aidan Quinn). Her mother died when she was 11, and now her dad has a girlfriend. Poppy and her friends trash all her dad's girlfriend's stuff in a wild prank. Her dad arrives and decides that he must send her to boarding school in England. Arriving at the school, called Abbey Mount, Poppy meets the headmistress Mrs. Kingsley (Natasha Richardson), head girl Harriet Bentley (Georgia King), and her 'buddy' Kate (Kimberley Nixon). She finds life there miserable and decides that she must get out of the school. With the help of her new friends (who are also her roommates), Poppy performs dirty deeds so Mrs. Kingsley can kick her out of the school. But when all her tricks fail, she decides that the best way to get expelled is to 'snog' Mrs. Kingsley's son Freddie (Alex Pettyfer). <u>REVIEW:</u><p> There were ups and downs with the screenplay. The story is terribly predictable. It's really easy to tell what's going to happen. The way some of the stuff is written in this is silly and lame, but I did like some of the dialogue. There were some funny and sweet lines. The characters were likeable. I found Poppy a really interesting character. She's all wild because of the death of her mother, and I loved the way they showed that she's not really a bad person even though she acts like a bitch - they shown this to us with the relationships between her and other characters. Poppy and her younger sister have a lovely bond, and Poppy really is a loving sister. Another interesting character was the headmistress Mrs. Kingsley, who goes easy on Poppy because she knows that she's going through a rough time. I must say though, the love story in this was <b>so unconvincing</b>. There's a romance between Poppy and Freddie, and I didn't buy it for a second! But, even though this script had it's problems, the coming of age storyline with Poppy is well written. There's plenty of development with her character as well. It's tempting to say that the best thing about the film is Emma Roberts. She was outstanding. I kinda have a thing for her and I would never talk bad about her unless I had to, and luckily now I don't have to. She's so adorable, and she can just make this film likebale, as well as her character Poppy. Her bubbly attitude works, and I think she kicks ass at playing a bimbo. Natasha Richardson brings class to the headmistress, and there's a wonderful cameo from Nick Frost who plays a wacky hairdresser. Georgia King was very funny as the token bitch of the film. Pretty boy Alex Pettyfer doesn't do anything in this except for looking good for the girls that find him hot. He lacks charisma and talent - he was probably the worst actor here. Another problem I had with the film is that they had to put in some of the dumbest dance routines ever! There was no need for thisd kind of stuff. There were two dance sequences - one being at the school dance, and another at a lacrosse match. I found these dances lame, and I don't even think these actors are good dancers. I think it's well directed at times, and I even liked some of the songs. I really do think that Emma Roberts made the film so likebale. <i>Wild Child</i> is a fun film, and even though it's targeted at little girls, I'm sure a lot of older people will enjoy this. I had a lot of fun with it, and I wouldn't be surprised if you did too. <div style="width:399px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/wild-child2008-11023780"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/11/02/37/11023780_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;">
    James H Super Reviewer

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