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Uptown Girls

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Uptown Girls

Starring: Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning
Director: Boaz Yakin
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: August 2003
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Marley Shelton, Donald Adeosun Faison, Heather Locklear, Michael Urie, Tony Devon, Angelina Hong, Pell James, Bill Kotsatos

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

This wannabe female-friendship comedy fails on so many levels that it could serve as a lesson in fluffy, one-dimensional film-making. The story, which was pitched by a studio receptionist (Allison Jacobs), revolves around 22 year-old Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy), the self-indulgent, orphaned daughter of a wealthy rock 'n' roll guitarist When a larcenous accountant absconds with her $100 million inheritance, the irritating and totally incompetent Molly is forced to look for a j-o-b, a loathsome concept to someone whose major exhaustion has come from shopping and partying. She finds employment as a nanny to a nasty, neglected, cynical 8 year-old whose father is in a coma and whose mother (Heather Locklear) is a busy music executive. That's the set-up: a childlike adult interacting with an adult-like child , both learning lessons about life.

Drenched in dull, corny cuteness by writers Julia Dahl, Mo Ogrodnik and Lisa Davidowitz and self-consciously directed by Boaz Yakin, it's a cotton-candy confection that's far too superficial, contrived and mannered. Perhaps because of a publicity blitz, sulky Brittany Murphy ("Eight Mile," "Just Married") seems distractingly enamored of her own quirky persona, while pixie-faced Dakota Fanning ("I Am Sam") exudes an unappealingly obnoxious, precocious quality. On the other hand, watching a loser like this makes one muse: wouldn't it be great if someone thought of teaming Dakota Fanning with Hayley Joel Osment as brother-and-sister in some sort of flaky adventure? Ah, well. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Uptown Girls" is a tedious, tiresome 3. The most appealing character is Moo, the pet potbellied pig. "He was going to be my curry dinner one night in Bangkok, but we fell in love," Molly explains.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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