John Tucker Must Die! Or at least suffer a little.
Right off the bat I have a disclaimer: this is a teen movie. If you give an audible groan when you see youthful pranksters on the screen, or shudder at reliving high school, this movie is not for you. It’s a mix of She’s All That and Mean Girls. And Jenny McCarthy is in it too.
Do I still have you?
Just as the title suggests, the main character is John Tucker, one good looking high school boy who has everything. Money. Popularity. A winning personality. And girls. Oh the girls. The premise of this movie is not original, nor is the way it is carried out. However, it is an entertaining movie with good laughs, which is admirable in a genre that has become a parody upon itself.
We have the school hero John Tucker, who Jesse Metcalfe plays with charm, who is secretly dating the head cheerleader Heather, the Greenpeace loving Beth, and the Harvard bound Carrie. But, once the girls find out they aren’t the only ones dating John, they begin to plot revenge with the shy newcomer Kate, played by Brittany Snow. Kate has zero experience with boys, and the other three girls make her over and wait in the wings as they coach her on how to make John to fall in love with her. The plot heads predictably to ripping John’s heart out on his birthday. But writer Jeff Lowell does throw some interesting twists in to get us to the finish.
First is Kate’s mother, played by McCarthy. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of McCarthy’s hotness with her motherly advice that makes the scenes real; we are shown what it really would be like to live with a hot mom who dates a lot. A lot. Done setting up Kate’s motive for revenge (on the whole male gender) we can see why she teams up with the three exes. Another interesting twist is Kate’s lab partner, who also happens to be John Tucker’s brother, played by Pen Badgley. Underutilized, his character stays on the sidelines for most of the movie, but what he does add is the cute underdog that you want to get the girl.
So, does John Tucker die? Not so much. A teenager this resilient must have some super powers to live through the whipping these girls dish out though. But, he does learn his lesson. Sort of. After the climax of the movie, which involved a timely entrance of strippers and cake to dull the preachy moments, he decides honesty is the best policy.
If you are under 23 and need a laugh, or forget what the teen movies are really like due to the constant parodies, rent this movie. You’ll probably enjoy it more from the comfort of your own couch, with your own cake scene to enjoy.
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