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Nick Eliot, a 28 year old newspaper reporter moves in the guest house of the Forresters'. Everything goes fine until he meets Adrienne, the Forresters' only child, a 14 year old girl. She develops a crush on him. When he ignores her advances, she's rebuffed and willing to kill him. Written by
Early in the film, while talking about Nick's writing, Adrian notes, "You have such a terrible time with the objective case." Later, Adrian has her own trouble with the objective case when she says, "I think it's brought Nick and I a lot closer." She should have said, "I think it's brought Nick and me a lot closer." See more »
This was Alicia Silverstone's debut film after which she went on to star in some Aerosmith videos (what red-blooded American male can ever forget seeing her and Liv Tyler in "Crazy"?) after which she got the lead in Clueless (1995) and the rest is cinematic history.
In Clueless of course she was a sweet, adorable and slightly empty-headed Valley Girl. Here she is what might be called a Lolita from hell. Director Alan Shapiro even has her do a Sue Lyon (from Kubrick's 1964 Lolita) looking-over-her-sunglasses imitation to start the film. We soon learn that she is 14 "almost 15." (Silverstone was actually 15-years-old during the filming.) She is also rich and very talented, plays a classical piano, knows the scientific names of beetles and wasps, has skipped two grades, etc. The film itself might be dubbed a kind of "Fatal Attraction" for teeny-boppers.
Cary Elwes plays Nick Eliot who is looking for some digs as the film begins. He is a writer who just got a gig with an important, trendy magazine. After nearly bumping into Adrian (Silverstone) with his car, he looks askance and sees a sign advertising a cottage for rent in back of a large house with estate. Turns out this is where Adrian lives with her parents.
Somehow this reminds me of William Holden as the writer Joe Gillis pulling into that driveway on Sunset Boulevard (1950). He should have looked in the other direction! He should have run the other way! When Little Miss Crazy gets a crush, it is a hum-dinger. Maybe Nick should have just surrendered at the start and she would have been bored with him in a couple of months at most. But unfortunately, Nick Eliot is the epitome of the clueless male. He doesn't see the danger until it is too late. He is slightly compromised because he has kissed her, he has wandered about her house when her parents haven't been at home, and worse yet he doesn't have an inkling of the strength of her passion. To be honest I felt a little sorry for her having to deal with all that rejection! I think this would have played more realistically had Adrian's part been given to an ugly little shrew in the making. But then of course the film would not have found any kind of audience.
Well, this is a familiar premise and the kind I like to see worked out and resolved--well, I like to look at Alicia, anyway. Unfortunately Alan Shapiro, who also wrote the script, has the originality of a photocopy machine and just milks the premise while mindlessly escalating the bizarro. Suffice it to say that Little Miss Crazy doesn't take no for an answer and that Nick stupidly behaves in a way that just makes his situation worse. The ending does have the virtue of being nicely ironic while suggesting the hoped-for sequel.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
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