Review: John Tucker Must Die
I'm a fan of bad cinema. When I say bad cinema, I don't mean Plan 9 from Outer Space bad, but 10 Things I Hate About You bad. It's nice to sit and let the nonsense roll over you. John Tucker wanted to be 10 Things, but it wasn't that kind of bad; it was the real bad. It was the kind of bad that makes you wonder why you agreed to see so many fucking movies this summer.
The movie isn't really worth reviewing, but I'm pretty sure I've nailed down why this didn't succeed in being a dirtier, older, funny-not-cute version of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The key to that film, which others have tried to copy, was the chemistry of the four girls. JTMD also has four girls, but zero chemistry (well, except for the chemistry class). I felt nothing for these four girls, partly because John Tucker seemed kinda awesome and partly because they were painfully annoying. If your goal is to have a feel-good movie where a group of kids band together, you shouldn't make their nemesis the most likable person in the film.*
At this point it seems I need to tell you some of the plot, even though I swore I wouldn't subject another person to the pain and suffering that is Jeff Lowell's script. See, the story is about JT's three girlfriends and their desire to "kill" him (i.e., ruin his life). They enlist Kate (Snow's character) -- who is a sweet, invisible girl -- to seduce JT and then drop him, just like he did to this mind-numbing trio. Generally, I frown upon alpha-males who ruin the lives of innocent girls, but if they all go after girls like this then I've had them all wrong. I'm happy to let the alpha-males have the hot girls if they're all completely vapid and devoid of charisma. This is why I am considering buying the rights to this film, changing the name to John Tucker Must Live and recutting it to show that men like John Tucker are clearing the way for normal guys like me to get the interesting women.
I'm curious to know if it's just my perspective that makes this film seem like it's doing the opposite of what it intends. Is it possible that an attractive yet vapid, charisma-less teenage girl would love this film? For this, I turn to the message boards for the MySpace-based website for JTMD. Here's what K-La, a 17 year-old from North Carolina, had to say:**
I thought it was sooo cute! But being a teenage girl this movie was targeted at my generation of girls..Typical beautiful people with their so called drama..but i loved it to say the least!!!
Totes! Well, I guess my theory was correct. The movie has made $29 million and, more importantly, it has 140,310 MySpace friends, which translates to something like $500 million.
The lesson learned is that JTMD's creators couldn't give two shits about me and my film-loving friends. They knew there would be a few million lobotomized teens who would see this movie because of John Tucker's pretty face and they are richer as a result. To spare the girls who think Jesse Metcalf is delicious but have no desire to this film anymore, I have provided a picture of him to ogle below. Enjoy.
* To be fair, I almost liked the female lead (played by Brittany Snow). Brittany played the role well, even up to the end when her character became lame.
** although she is a teenager and possibly vapid or charisma-less, i will leave her level of hotness up to males under the age of 18, thank you.