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Sugar & Spice

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Sugar & Spice

Starring: James Marsden, Mena Suvari
Director: Francine McDougall
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: January 2001
Genre: Comedy


*Also starring: Marla Sokoloff, Alexandra Holden, Marley Shelton, Rachel Blanchard, Sara Marsh, Melissa George, Nate Maher, Sean Young



Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

Cheerleaders become bank robbers...that had to be the sales pitch for this off-beat, teen crime-caper comedy that inexplicably tickles the funny bone. To begin with, there are these five cheerleaders at Lincoln High School. They're best friends, bosom buddies, golden girls. So when their perky, relentlessly optimistic A-squad captain (Marley Shelton) gets pregnant by the simpleminded star quarterback (James Marsden) and discovers the Beatles were wrong - "Love isn't all you need!" - they decide to rob a bank. After all, that's where the money is, right? At least according to Keanu Reeves in "Point Break," the vintage surf 'n' heist film, with specifics supplied by the rebellious daughter (Mena Suvari) of a convict (Sean Young). While the wholesome, devout Christian (Rachel Blanchard) and fantasy-ridden Conan O'Brien fan (Melissa George) take a bit of convincing, the Harvard-bound brainchild (Sara Marsh) opts out. But the human pyramid doesn't collapse, since she's quickly replaced by a munitions dealer's daughter (Alexandra Holden). There's a slight hitch when a jealous member of the B-squad (Marla Sokoloff) squeals to the police but she's quickly appeased. Sure, it's shallow. It's supposed to be. What do you expect from a fizzy, pop culture send-up, complete with red-white-and-blue pom-poms and Madonna lyrics recited as inspirational poetry? Director Francine McDougall, writer Mandy Nelson and cinematographer Robert Brinkmann share the same vision: taking "girl power" to outrageous extremes. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Sugar & Spice" is a sassy, irreverent, saucy 6. Despite memories of the tragedy of the Columbine shootings in 1999, this satirical dark comedy about girls and guns offers more giggles than one might expect. "Cheerleaders kick...!"

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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