John Tucker Must Die
John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) is a high school basketball star dating three different girls at the same time: the activist vegan (Sophia Bush), the over-achieving blonde journalist (Arielle Kebbel), and the sassy cheerleading squad captain (Ashanti). They all find out about each other and with the help of the shy new girl in school, Kate (Brittany Snow), they plot a devious revenge. After various other plots fail (such as spiking his protein powder with estrogen), the girls decide to combine their knowledge to make Kate into the perfect seduction machine and break Tucker’s heart. In classic DANGEROUS LIAISONS/CRUEL INTENTIONS style, Kate becomes the talk of the school, but may end up becoming everything she used to hate. It’s an amalgam of patented teen comedy formulas, but director Betty Thomas (BRING IT ON, 28 DAYS) keeps the story jumping along in fine order: no pop song montages of trying on different outfits, no soap opera angst and no parental moralising. It’s all chocolate, bra-cams, basketball games, food fights, and a wealth of quotable put-downs. Metcalfe makes a perfect Tucker, a character who–to the movie’s credit–is not as bad as all that. Penn Bagdley quietly steals some scenes as John’s less popular brother, a music snob/slacker who falls for Kate while assisting her in science experiments. Jenny McCarthy is in fine form as Kate’s hot mum, cursed with her own weakness for smooth talking men.