Thursday, October 31, 2013

Movie Review: I Confess

Title: I Confess
Author: Alfred Hitchcock (Warner Brothers)
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: *****
Brother's Rating: *****
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 14+
Summary: A man is murdered, and someone has to pay. But what about the soul of the man who committed the murder? Fleeing to the confessional, the murderer confesses his deed to a young priest, Fr. Michael Logan. But when things get hot, and the murderer feels he may be found out, he gets nervous. Can Fr. Logan reveal what he heard in the confessional? What if he himself is suspected, and all those he cares for are hurt?

Word of Warning:
  • Note this is all in black and white.
  • A dead man is seen, stretched across the floor with a bit of blood on his head.
  • A man confesses to a murder. He claims the murder was an accident, that he was only intending to steal, and he is told to return the money. It is unclear as to what he does with the money. During the robbery he wears a cassock as a disguise/safety.
  • A man briefly mentions that he might be hanged for murder.
  • A woman (who is married) is in love with a priest, who is well aware of this. Her husband also knows, and she never lead him to believe she loved him.
  • There are at least three kisses, most rather passionate. One is between a married woman and a man who is not her husband (the man returns her kiss and is unaware that she is married), the rest are between a couple who are courting.
  • A man makes what is referred to as a "remark" (we are unaware as to the content of it), later referred to as "an insinuation" about a wife and Michael spending the night in a gazebo together (they were escaping a storm; nothing happened). Michael shoves the man for insulting the lady's honor.
  • A man blackmails a young wife and, in doing so, a priest as well.
  • A wife is so angered by how her words have been taken that she suggests she should have lied to the crime investigators when they questioned her.
  • A wife is accused of "a continuous illicit--" but the sentence is never finished. Later, it is clarified simply using the term "affair" in relation to a married woman and a priest.
  • A woman is shot by her husband and killed (no blood or gore). A man is shot but we do not see him (we hear he's been shot and see chefs bending down to help him).
  • The man who attempted theft (and committed murder) was driven by his sadness at watching his wife work hard for their living.
Good Points
Because this movie depends entirely on these. And rightly so. Because they're amazing.
  • Fr. Logan refuses to reveal anything that relates to the confession he heard. This leads to him being suspected as a murderer, his trial, and the public turning against him (shouting "take off that collar!"). Still, he remains strong and does not speak.
  • Fr. Logan is kind to Ruth (the woman in love with him) but gently discourages her feelings toward him, wanting her to move on and see reality. He does his very best to protect her honor, reputation, and keep her from emotional heartbreak.
  • Ruth, for her part, is in love with Fr. Logan but knows there is nothing she can do about it and does not try. She stays away from him for years to protect both of them. She never leads her husband to believe she loves him and has apparently told him of her love for Fr. Logan. She does her best to protect him as he is indicated in the murder, revealing information that may hurt her marriage in order to protect Fr. Logan.
  • Ruth's husband is utterly amazing. He knows his wife is in love with Fr. Logan, and he hears the entire story of their courtship and the night in the gazebo. Still, he refuses to leave her even after she suggests this is what a husband would do if his wife were in love with another man. He supports her through difficult times, even after her revelation detailing her relationship with Fr. Logan.
  • The actor for Fr. Logan is spectacular. At this point, words utterly fail.
  • The portrayal of the priests is nearly flawless. As my brother pointed out, often in movies the priest will genuflect the wrong way, or make some other small mistake that would annoy Catholic viewers. No such mistakes were noticed in this movie.

My Thoughts
Honestly, if I could give this movie more than five stars, I would, but unfortunately our system only goes up to five.
I've seen this movie many times now, and it never fails to move me. Fr. Logan's bravery and determination to hold to his vows, the husband's support of his wife, and Ruth's attempt to save Fr. Logan by revealing all, they're so touching one is almost moved to trembling. Even the murderer's motivation is moving.
The story itself has an interesting premise. A priest knows of a murder because he's heard the confession of the murderer. He's framed for the murder and can't talk his way out because everything he knows concerning the murder was learned in confession. There are martyrs who died protecting that sacred seal of confession. Here, we see a slightly less tragic, but still incredibly gripping retelling of that same idea.
It's thrilling. Full of mystery, containing a passionate romance, and having all that edge-of-your-seat excitement one desires. To top it off, the hero is a priest.
What more could you possibly want?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: QB 1

Title: QB 1
Author: Mike Lupica
Genre: Sports
My Rating: ***
Official Rating: Children's Fiction
Age Group: 10+

Summary: Jake is a Cullen. His dad was the starting quarterback in high school and college, and his older brother is following in that path. Jake's a freshman now, and he's expected to do what Cullens do. Only, Jake is starting to feel like he's trapped in a shadow. If his dad wants his brother to be like his dad, and then wants Jake to be like his brother, he's already stuck under two shadows. Then, on top of all that, Jake isn't the starting quarterback. Casey is, and has definitely waited his turn for the position. That's just one more shadow to live under--another shadow adding to the disappointment those around Jake seem to feel about him.
But what about Jake's shadow? Does he have a say in how he's going to live?

Word of Warning
  • Jake's father plays favorites and it takes him a long time to admit it. He does everything but demand that Jake be just like his older brother, and, when the older brother has a game, Jake's father misses Jake's game. Jake and his mom even suggest they remind his father that he has two sons.
  • There is some arguing, often between Jake and the other quarterback. At one point, it is suggested this will come to blows, but never does.
  • Teasing between friends.
  • A brief kiss.
  • A boy destroys his ACL during a game and is helped off the field, never to return (he lives, obviously, but doesn't play the rest of the season). There isn't a whole lot of detail, only that he falls, and starts screaming. That's pretty much the last we hear of him.
  • Jake gets a concussion but he thinks he's fine so we don't get a whole lot of drama out of it.
  • Lupica usually has a great balance of choppy (but semi-realistic) dialogue and more complete dialogue. In this book, it's all choppy.
  • Lupica is known by my sister and I as having parent characters who are only parents biologically. As in, they talk just like the kids, and they're interested in being the kids' friends, not their parents, and in having fun, like the kids. The problem isn't as big in this book as it usually is, but it's still there.
  • Sarah seems to be in love with Jake's brother, then with Casey, then with Jake. Does she only fall for the starting quarterback? It's hard to tell how she feels, and when she does finally settle, it's hard to trust (or even like) her. She's basically a flat character. Sort of like a name on a popsicle stick, if that makes any sense.
  • Jake's father is immature and never truly admits that. It's suggested that he may know it, and he does take a step toward fixing the problem of favoring a son, but he doesn't actually admit to his mistake.

My Thoughts
Alright, you caught me. I like reading football stories, complete with well described games and everything in-between. This story was no different. It was exciting, had a pinch of character development (even though the entire thing was supposed to be about that, it really had a lot to do with just the game), and was Lupica all over again. By that I mean choppy dialogue, great guy character friendships, good laughs, and great sports action.
That's what I expect from a book like this--and that's what I got.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Movie Review: Heart of the Country

Title: Heart of the Country
Author: N/A
Genre: Romance, marriage, drama, Christian
My Rating: *****
Official Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements)
Age Group: 10+
Faith's husband Luke is thrown in jail for something he claims he didn't do. Hurt by his dishonesty, Faith runs back home to her father and her hometown. There, she grapples with family, love, and her marriage. Luke, bailed out of jail by his father, is stuck in New York dealing with the same things. A tragic discovery brings them back together sooner than they are ready for. Can Luke convince Faith of his innocence? And can Faith take him back?

Word of Warning:
This movie was so amazingly clean I feel strange even having this list. It's going to be filled with rather trivial things, compared to my most recent reviews. It's a nice change.
  • A brief passionate kiss between a married couple.
  • A man is wrongfully arrested (or so he claims).
  • Faith's mother passed away some time ago in an unnamed accident. We see brief flashbacks to her time in the hospital and the ambulance (all focused on her face). Faith visits her grave. The whole family misses the mother (understandably).
  • It is mentioned that a sister put hair remover in Faith's shampoo bottle when the girls were younger.
  • A wife complains that her husband doesn't change their baby's diaper, but it's more gentle teasing than angry complaining.
  • Liposuction is mentioned briefly, glossed over, and left unexplained.
  • A Luke leaves his family company, resulting in his father and brother yelling at him.
  • People drink, but do not get drunk.
  • Faith is blamed by Luke's family for splitting the family in two.
  • Faith recalls when Lee, as a little boy, burned ants in the parking lot after vacation bible school.
  • The phrase "livin' it up in New York" is mentioned but not explained.
  • A little girl declares that when she grows up, she wants to marry her father. He responds that her mother already did, but the girl can get married, and they can share a father-daughter dance, and she's satisfied.
  • Luke is in jail and it's hinted that he'll be there a while.
  • Faith wonders aloud if her marriage was a mistake. She says she married because she loved Luke but that they're good at the fairy-tale, not real life.
  • Faith claims her marriage wasn't working. She says she tried and she doesn't seem willing to keep trying.
  • Luke is threatened in jail by another prisoner. There is no concrete threat, just the hint of the prisoner possibly blackmailing Luke.
  • Luke's father is clearly angry with him.
  • Lee flirts lightly with Faith even though he knows she's married. At one point, when things appear to be picking up speed, he steps back and mentions Luke not as Luke, but as her husband (using the word "husband"). He buys her a gift but backs off when Luke comes after Faith.
  • In a flashback before their proposal and marriage, Luke and Faith are lying on a picnic blanket laughing. There is clearly space between them.
  • There are about four gentle kisses before the proposal, some right after each other, some not.
  • Heather remarks of her pregnancy, "Comin' whether we like it or not" but in a joking fashion and a happy smile.
  • Sisters "battle" over their father.
  • Divorce is mentioned but Faith firmly declares she is not going to get one.
  • When Lee (a doctor) gets to church just in time, Faith teases, "Must've been quite a night, hope you got her name" as he straightens his tie. His response is simple. The girl was six, died of a heart attack, came from a car accident. Faith is silenced.
  • Faith doesn't believe her husband when he insists he's innocent.
  • Faith's father was not at her wedding, nor has he met Luke before.
  • In a slightly dramatic scene, Faith's father is loaded into an ambulance.
  • A man has brain cancer but refuses treatment, saying his time is up and he's ready to leave.
  • Faith's sister complains that her husband never tells her he loves her, even though she knows he does.
  • Sisters bicker but clearly love each other. One remarks, "What's the fun in getting along too well?"
  • Maria (an old friend of Luke's) flirts with him even though he's married. She leaves her purse in his car so she can come to his house later and pick it up. She puts her hands on his chest and tries to kiss him.
  • Faith walks in on an awkward scene and is lead to believe Luke is cheating on her with Maria.
  • Faith says she doesn't want a divorce, but she's living hours away from her husband, won't talk to him, and has given up on her marriage.
  • Luke knew the people he was working for were doing criminal things but didn't speak up.
Good Points
This movie was carried by its good points, not the plot, which is why many of them deserve mentioning.
  • Faith's father. Is amazing. He sees his position as father of two daughters as protective and guiding. He warns Lee to back off when Faith is on thin ice in terms of her marriage. He goes to Luke to help patch up the marriage. He is determined to make sure Faith's marriage does not fall apart--but he makes sure she and Luke are the ones to put it back together.
  • Church on Sunday is shown at least twice.
  • Families. They are shown not as perfect, but as realistic and good. There is arguing and bickering, anger, frustration, and everything else. But there is always loyalty and forgiveness and open arms when anyone looks for them.
  • Luke tells Faith he loves her and would do anything for her. At first, this doesn't seem to be the case. But when he sees that Faith isn't going to come back to him, he goes to her, leaving his life and family in New York to join her in a small country town where they will raise a family.
  • Faith and her sister do love each other, even though they bicker. The same is true for Luke and his brother, though this one is not as obvious.
  • Luke tries hard to ignore Maria's flirting. When it's not possible to tactfully ignore it anymore, he yells at her and kicks her out of his house.
  • Luke, in an attempt to keep the family name clean for his father and for his own future children, resists filing a court plea. Eventually, he does admit to the truth, and his father supports him in this.
  • Luke tells Faith's father, "I never touched another woman. I was always faithful to your daughter" and that he did not commit fraud, as his accusers claim he did.
  • At the end of the movie, a pregnant woman and her husband are shown. She is speaking to her father, then the child, and her husband stands behind her, arms around his wife, hands gently caressing the baby bump until she takes them in hers.

My Thoughts:
If I were to judge this movie based on plot, it would get a terrible rating. Judged on plot points and how many leads were never followed, it would fall on its face. Seen from the perspective of filming (dramatic effects, flashbacks, angle, etc), it wouldn't do much better.
But I'm not judging it on that, because that's not what this movie is about. This movie is about reality. It's about families and how, even though they don't always get along, they're still there. It's about fathers who are there for their children even if they do not always agree. It's about marriage and its beauty. The entire movie is based on reality and its goodness, even in its broken state. And on that scale, it scores pretty highly.
The only disappointment was even though Christianity was present (attending church on Sunday), it didn't have much to do with how the struggle (particularly the marriage struggle) played out. Had Christianity been a main part of the struggle's solution, the movie would have been ten times better.
Which is hard to imagine, it being so good to begin with.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Movie Review: Gran Torino

Title: Gran Torino
Author: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Historical fiction, gangs, drama
My Rating: ****
Official Rating: R (for language throughout, some violence)
Age Group: 18+

Summary: Walt has nothing left in the world, and some pathetic neighbors to top it all off. He's got enough on his mind, what with all the terrible things he found himself doing in the war, and he really doesn't want to deal with people who don't even speak English. But Walt's a good man, deep down, and that's what eventually brings about his end. He just can't stand around and watch the neighbor boy be harassed by a gang. He can't watch a kid who will cross the street to help an old woman pick up her groceries get dragged into a big mess which will eventually land him in jail. And he can't resist the good food the neighbors have, nor the quick tongue of the boy's older sister.
Then suddenly it narrows down to a simple problem: life, or death. Whatever he chooses, those around him will also be dealt a card.

Word of Warning
  • The entire movie revolves around a man who is haunted by what he did in the war. We don't know much, but we know he killed 13 men (or boys), many of whom did not want to be fighting. He shot one particularly young one in the face. None of his war stories are shown in flashbacks. They are all him speaking aloud to others.
  • Walt is sick and coughs up blood from time to time.
  • Walt has little relationship with his children. They all seem bitter toward each other. Later we find out he regrets this but didn't know how to grow close to his boys.
  • A girl has various piercings and her shirt shows some skin around her waist. Her and her siblings are incredibly disrespectful.
  • Walt is an angry man. That much is quite clear in everything he does, though it's also clear that he's lost and struggling.
  • The story revolves around the neighbors who are Hmong. Differences in culture become awkward for Walt and his neighbors. All sorts of stereotypes are pushed forward (but clearly stereotypes, some even debunked).
  • The next door girl claims her family eats cats, not dogs.
  • Blood is everywhere. Blood that Walt coughs up, that comes from people's faces after fights, when Walt angrily punches his fist through a glass door, and many other times. The two biggest moments are when the neighbor boy is injured when his house is shot at and has blood on his neck (he was not, apparently, shot) and when his sister comes home, her face bloodied and blood running down her legs (she is taken to the hospital but is home the next day--more on this later). Also, when Walt punches the glass door, he sits down and thinks, and blood drips from his finger tips.
  • Shooting. People are shot at, guns are pulled. No one is actually hit until the very end, when a man is riddled by bullets from many different men. We see very little blood (a bit on his arm, a small drip from his mouth) but we do see the marks from the bullets on his jacket. He dies and is carted away on a stretcher in a black bag.
  • Walt often has a gun with him and isn't afraid to pull it. From his attitude, we suspect he's not afraid to use it, though as we get to know him better, it's easy to assume using it could be the greatest fear he has.
  • Walt makes a finger gun and "shoots" several people throughout the movie.
  • A boy tries to steal a car.
  • A girl is almost raped. The guys make suggestive comments and push her around a bit, and she responds with angry words. Nothing happens and she's rescued.
  • Later, the same girl actually is raped, though off screen. This results in the scene mentioned above where she comes home with a bloodied face and blood on her legs.
  • Language abounds--and not the good kind. I honestly lost track of how many times particular words were used, or even which ones were used, but the most common ones are as follows: f***, b****, Jesus Christ (muttered twice by a priest, among other people), and many many others. One thing I noticed was that it was hard to make it three lines without hearing f***.
  • Racial insults everywhere.
  • Walt accuses a young priest of knowing nothing, then throws a bunch of insults at him, among them that the priest is a 27 year old virgin. The priest later admits that Walt was right, but that he learned a lot from the man.
  • Walt's barber is holding a pornographic magazine in one of his scenes. The viewers get a brief glance at it.
  • Walt is continually rude to the priest, but eventually does go to confession.
  • Walt confesses to kissing another woman while he was married, saying "it just happened." He follows up with a few more sins.
  • Walt's final sacrifice is self-giving, but also partially suicidal. It's hard to give it an accurate label.

The Good
When a movie has a list of problems like the one above, and is rated R, one really starts to wonder why in the world it would ever be watched by anyone looking for decent entertainment. And so I follow with a list of only a few of the good points.
  • Walt truly does try to change, and he does. In the process, he assumes protection over the Hmong family next door, even taking the young son (who tried to steal his car) under his wing and teaching him how to be a man.
  • The boy next door tries to stay out of trouble as best he can.
  • The priest is calm, persistent, kind, and strong. He does his best with what he's been given.
  • Walt's last words are the beginning of a Hail Mary.
  • Walt goes through a serious conversion, but not the kind we're used to hearing about from people who want to tell their stories.
  • Walt puts his all into helping the boy next door stay out of trouble and also setting him up for a better future than he was currently in line for.
  • When it all comes down to that choice between life and death, the neighbor boy is enraged and wants to avenge his sister. Walt knows what must be done, but he doesn't want the boy to kill anyone. He manages to lock the boy in his basement, protecting him from a terrible fate.
My Thoughts
This isn't the type of movie I pick up when I want to watch something. When a friend suggested I review Gran Torino, I jumped at the challenge. I'm glad I did, or else I would have missed out on a beautiful story.
But it was beautiful in a very of gritty way. I think we often see beautiful as soft, pretty, and fragile, sort of like a rose. Sure, that's beauty, but that's not the only way it can be manifest. It's also gritty, dangerous, and wild. And that's the side shown in this movie. Walt honestly annoyed me at first, but by the end, I was heartbroken. He taught so much to the neighbors, saved their lives, and made a huge step in his personal life. He learned to sacrifice.
But it was a different kind of sacrifice. Because Walt encountered all sorts of nasty sacrifice when he was in the war. This time, he had to fully and willingly commit himself, knowing he might very well gain nothing at all.
And that, right there, is beautiful.
Sadly, that beauty is muddied by all the objectionable content in the movie. It's arguable that the beauty wouldn't have been so strong without the objectionable content, but where does that leave us?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Movie Review: Planes

Title: Planes
Author: Disney
Genre: Adventure, Underdog, Children's, Racing, Animation
My Rating: ***
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 8+

"I just want to be more than what I was made for," Dusty Crophopper claims. Indeed. Stuck dusting crops for life, he dreams of racing other planes across the world. When he gets the chance to do just that, he takes it. In a race against time, against other planes, through dangerous courses and threatening elements, and his own fear of heights, Dusty has his work cut out for him. Can he win? Scratch that. Can he survive?

Word of Warning:
  • The catchphrase above, but more on that later.
  • Dusty's mentor lies to him and he is hurt by this.
  • Various planes crash, though we don't really see anything graphic (except when planes are being shot out of the sky during a war). One plane is blinded and nearly crashes, but Dusty saves him. Others spin out of control and disappear.
  • Dusty ends up in a terrible storm over the ocean and essentially drowns. He's pulled out and we see he's battered (wings in bad shape, "nose," tailfin, etc).
  • Dusty's Mexican friend is head over heels in love with a plane who doesn't pay any attention to him whatsoever--until Dusty gives him a pointer (he's got to be smooth and gentle). Then the guy can't get rid of her! So much so that we see lipstick marks all over his body (he's a plane, remember, so it's not nearly as nasty as it sounds).
  • Dusty falls for a different girl who betrays him, repents, and eventually ends up with him, so to speak (all we know is that they're happy and on good terms again).
  • Typical current champ has henchmen who sabotage Dusty (the rookie) in an attempt to make him fail.
  • There's a rumor that the henchmen (twins) were one plane and separated at birth. Though how planes are born is anybody's guess.
  • Some name calling (moron and others). Nothing major and no swear words.
  • Dusty's Mexican friend mutters Spanish to his love, and she responds in French (she's Canadian). They clearly don't understand each other, and unfortunately my Spanish isn't fast enough to translate, nor do I know any French, so I have no idea what they actually said.
  • Female planes are ogled, particularly their rudders (is that the right term?) on the wings as they are moved up and down.
  • One plane is disqualified after illegal fuel is found in his tank. It's quite clear that the illegal fuel is a lot like a drug of sorts (and we've heard far too much about those and sports).
  • Outhouses (with cars in them) are overturned, spraying oil everywhere. We see one car look a bit shocked when the outhouse above him disappears, then go back to his newspaper.
  • Dusty flies  through a train tunnel and almost collides with an oncoming train. We find out later that the incident was set up by the "bad guy".
My Thoughts:
It's a fun story, an underdog story. Dusty comes from the very lowest place he could (or so we're convinced) and takes on the world with a charming lack of experience. He's naïve, pure and simple, and it's fun. Until he starts to get things down, and then he stoops to poking fun at the current champion. Just because the guy's a jerk doesn't mean the hero needs to go that low.

This is a repeat of Cars, it really is. I took my younger sister, and she commented that the "bad guy" in this movie was green, just like the "bad guy" in the other one. Right on, sis. And the similarities just don't stop there. So what, right? It's a nice story. Everybody likes a good tale about a guy who rises from the ashes, takes the title, and gets the girl. Retelling that story in the world of Cars, with planes as the main characters, well, that just adds to the fun. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the movie. It was fun and there weren't nearly as many inappropriate comments as usual in Disney's children's movies.

But what about that catchphrase. At first, I loved the sound of it. The idea of becoming more is appealing to everyone, isn't it? But then I stepped back and thought about it. Looking at this from a Catholic perspective, the idea of being more than one is made for is just crazy. God created each of us for a purpose, someone specific to each person. Why would we need to be "more"? Is that even possible?
I leave you with a quote:
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
Each of us is loved,
Each of us is necessary.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

With that backing us up, what more could we possibly want?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Movie Review: Picture This

Title: Picture This
Genre: Romance, High School, Chick Flick
My Rating: -*
Official Rating: PG-13
Age Group: 18+ (or nobody)

Summary: Mandy has been in love with Drew for a full four years or so. Unfortunately, Drew is completely unaware of that. In addition, Mandy lives in a regular town, and Drew lives in a gated community. Not to mention Mandy's father is completely controlling. When she finally does get Drew's attention, her father triple grounds her. How in the world is she going to go to Drew's party?

Word of Warning:
First off, a disclaimer. This was a chick flick and lacking in almost every aspect that makes a good movie. Because of that, I am only going to list the more major problems.
  • Mandy is completely infatuated with Drew and has been for some time. We get a slow-mo of him getting out of the pool wearing small tight swim "trunks" (he's on the swim team).
  • Mandy hits her head, almost drowns, and Drew gives her CPR. She wakes up to his mouth on hers, his hands on her chest. It takes him a minute to realize he doesn't need to keep his hands there.
  • Mandy's father is controlling. Mandy is completely disrespectful toward him.
  • Mandy spends a good portion of the movie tricking her dad into thinking she's studying when she's actually going to a party.
  • The dress Mandy wears to the party is short, has a low neck, and has slits that go high up the side.
  • There's a legend/rumor that the Patterson boys take a girl up to the tower (in their house) at the yearly party. There, they "deflower her in the show." The rhyme of it all only makes this concept even more sick.
  • Due to the rumor, when Drew does take Mandy up to the tower, and he leaves the room for a moment, she freaks out when she hears water and leaves. In the other room we see he's just washing his hands and trying hard to relax (apparently he's pretty nervous and his hands were sweaty).
  • Mandy never finds out that Drew didn't have a "shower plan" for her, but she does get back together with him at the end of the movie.
  • Mandy's father learns a lesson, Mandy is happy, and she never tells him the truth about the party night, though he does have a small inkling of it.
  • Mandy and her two friends go to a bar to win some money in a competition.
  • One girl throws up. This is recorded and shown to other party-goers, who think it's funny and make fun of her. Mandy's face puffs up in an allergic reaction and she chugs some sort of medication for allergies to get rid of it.
  • The typical mean girls group is present and, as expected, ruthless.
  • Drew kisses Mandy on the cheek, then later on the lips. The last one is long, but that's because the frame was frozen, music played, and then the credits rolled.
My Thoughts
This is the typical teenage daughter is misunderstood, parent learns a lesson, teenager gets a date, the end type of movie. These movies always try to trick the reader into thinking the teenager had a change of heart as well, especially toward the parent, but it just doesn't happen.
Aside from that, the whole rumor about the show thing was just plain disgusting. Mandy knew the rumor and went up into the tower anyway, trusting Drew was different. Sure, he was, but even if there wasn't a rumor she shouldn't have gone up to his bedroom alone with him.
Sometimes I find a movie like this that had something good to it. This one? Nothing. At all. That's why though it may be appropriate for someone 18+ (very few people at that age are going to enjoy something like this anyway), the movie is empty, kind of like a black hole: nothing to give, everything to take.