thatcow

Stillborn

There can be a certain delight in watching a movie self-destruct in front of you. Good intentions and ill-advised filmmaking can result in a kind of carnage that could never be designed on purpose.

Here we see the studio-generated idea of putting together the top two contestants from the first American Idol competition. They meet on spring break, spontaneously break out into song and dance, and all sort of petty things keep their budding love from actually getting off the ground. These two are hardly treated any different from their surrounding cast, a bunch of self-obsessed and empty-headed kids stumbling to have a good time.

The fact is, this movie is more tepid than genuinely bad. The movie banks itself entirely on the premise of putting together these American Idol contestants, and doesn't back it up with anything except MTV-style posturing... and even that has the same tepid aspect to it. Did everybody give up the moment the project was greenlit? How timid was everyone around the idea of pushing these non-actors to do something interesting? They never actually give the leads a chance to fail. This kind of movie requires strong choices, and the decision-makers simply were too scared to make them.

Personally, I think something interesting could have been done with this premise. Would Justin and Kelly reveal hidden depths of acting talent? Perhaps not. Despite whatever limitation exists on how far it can go, why waste everybody's time on something that's not even trying? More than any awkward moment on screen, that's the worst thing about this whole mess. This film never had a chance precisely because nobody thought it had a chance.

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