Pretty Persuasion (2005)
Critic Consensus: Pretty Persuasion aims for high satire but falls short of poignancy by depending on too much black humor, with too little redeeming humanity to provide balance.
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Critic Reviews for Pretty Persuasion
Good writing aside, this screenplay contained the elements of two different films. One of them might have been quite persuasive.
Extremely well written in the fearless way of a smarty pants on a roll in the university cafeteria.
Wood's fine work is undermined by the movie it's trapped in, which feels like a rough draft of itself: Skander Halim's screenplay is unnecessarily twisty and gimmicky, and some of the teenspeak dialogue falls flat, already out of date.
The screenplay by Skander Halim falters. It's too convoluted and cloudy to have the intended effect.
Self-conscious, overdone, shallow, and just not up to the level of its star.
Audience Reviews for Pretty Persuasion
Hmm this wasn't what I expected at all. It takes a bit from quite a few bigger and better films and ends up no where near as good as any of them. It has a touch of Mean girls, Election, Cruel intentions and mostly plot wise Wild things. However without being as dramatic, shocking, sexy or as intelligent as any of them. If you like the above you might want to check it out, otherwise make sure you see the films mentioned, as they have similar story lines but are much better films.
This is the textbook definition of vicious self-satisfaction. Evan Rachel Wood's hilarious deadpan steamrollers over everything she touches. The way she holds herself with such decisive control is impressive at such a young age (I can kind of imagine Dakota Fanning in something of this role in the future, actually) and she is the one that makes this movie THE best out of all its precedents (Heathers, Cruel Intentions).
It was necessary for this movie to be independently made because the straight-up racism wouldn't have been approved anywhere else. And the racism and gutsy ventures into taboo territory are what make this movie unforgettable.
But even though I really, really enjoyed this movie, it lacked the balls to make the full vitriolic monty, opting for the redemption arc instead, with internal turmoil + tears+ all. Come on people, we don't live in the age of the Hays code anymore - not everything has to end for the good.
"Evil comes in a school uniform." A 15-year-old girl incites chaos among her friends and a media frenzy when she accuses her drama teacher of sexual harassment.
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