Uptown Girls

18 ratings (18 Epinions reviews)
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Uptown Girls - A Bottom Dweller Chick Flik

Aug 18, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:I really liked Dakota Fanning and Brittany Murphy together...

Cons:The director - he was more lost then me on a New York interstate...

The Bottom Line: A disappointing chick flik. Let us all hang our head and sob for the lost art of girl movies.


Preamble
I should have known better than to get my hopes up...

I should have known better than to think that the trailers were a sign of what was to come...

I should have known better, people...

sigh

The Story
22 year old Molly (Brittany Murphy), the only daughter of a rock guitar legend, leads a charmed life. She lives in her own high-rise apartment without a care in the world. Living off of a trust fund, she parties until all hours of the morning.

On the night of her 22nd birthday, her best friends Ingrid (Marley Shelton) and Huey (Donald Faison) throw her a surprise birthday party at a hot club. While there, she meets Ray (Dakota Fanning), the eight year old daughter of the owner - Roma (Heather Locklear). Ray is hanging out in the club, waiting for her mother to finish up her business so that they can leave. She used to have a nanny but she - like the others - quit.

Huey presents Molly with a special gift - Neal (Jesse Spencer). Neal, an up and coming pop star, was brought in to sing for Molly's birthday and hopefully, to be signed by Roma to a record deal. Molly wants him permanently and what Molly wants - well - Molly usually gets.

After nailing Neal, Molly discovers that her accountant has left the country with her entire trust fund. All of her utilities have been shut off and the chances of finding him and getting the money back is slim to none.

Best friend Ingrid gets her a job at an upscale department store. Unfortunately, Molly falls asleep on the job - literally. After she's fired, she goes to Huey for a position. Huey hooks her up as Ray's nanny.

Ray is the most anal-retentive eight year old in the world. Her idea of fun is to keep things orderly.

Do Ray and Molly hit it off?

Do Molly and Neal stay together?

Do you care? Yep. Thought so.

The Scoop
Ugh! Where to start...

The story was pretty basic enough. We've seen it a million times but still, in the hands of the right actors and director, it had the potential to be something fresh.

Boaz Yakin (Remember The Titans) did just about everything possible to screw up this film. It's like he said in his mind, I know exactly how I want the ending to look and with everything else - well - I'll just wing it...because that's exactly how it felt in almost every scene. Maybe he didn't know how to deal with the lack of chemistry between Brittany and Jesse. Maybe he didn't understand that in order to pull in the chicks into the heart of the story, he needed to get rid of some of the extraneous stuff that he kept shoving in there - like for instance - the subplot with Molly's friend Ingrid.

I like Brittany Murphy. I first saw her in Clueless and since then, I've enjoyed her on King of the Hill, 8 Mile, and Riding In Cars With Boys. She tries really hard in this movie. Problem is, the director doesn't let her do much. One thing that did come out of it for me is that she has the potential to be a Lucille Ball type. Her physical comedy scenes were funny and convincing. Brittany's scenes with Dakota Fanning were adorable. Many times I teared up when the two of them were together and talking through some of their emotional issues.

Dakota Fanning is a wonderful little actress. Several times, she cracked me up as the anal-retentive eight year-old. Although this doesn't compare to her performance in I Am Sam, she still tries her best to do what the story called for. Too bad Mr. Yakin got in the way.

Brittany's male love interest, Jesse Spencer, was horrible. Putting aside the fact that he had absolutely no chemistry with her, he can't act, and his singing his dismal. I don't know whose idea it was to cast him in this role. The movie might have saved a little bit of face if it had gone with someone else like - well - anybody.

If any of you are going to see the movie because of Heather Locklear, you might as well turn around and go home. I think she gets a total of three minutes of airtime.

I've already talked about the music in another review - in case you're interested. Don't get your hopes up...

The End
Uptown Girls is rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. The sexual content is pretty weak and the language is about Dakota Fanning flipping adults off twice.

For those of you tempted to see this, I highly recommend you wait until it hits your local Blockbuster. Even catching a matinee at this point and time would be a waste of your precious, summer vacation.


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