5.5/10
20,095
183 user 53 critic

Jawbreaker (1999)

Three of the most popular girls at Reagan High accidentally kill the prom queen with a jawbreaker when a kidnapping goes horribly wrong.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
867 ( 2,251)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Craft (1996)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.

Director: Andrew Fleming
Stars: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two dim-witted, inseparable friends hit the road for their ten-year high school reunion and concoct an elaborate lie about their lives in order to impress their classmates.

Director: David Mirkin
Stars: Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo
Sugar & Spice (2001)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A popular high-school cheerleader becomes pregnant by the star quarterback and turns to crime to support her desired lifestyle.

Director: Francine McDougall
Stars: Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton, Melissa George
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Director: Roger Kumble
Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon
Comedy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.

Director: Michael Patrick Jann
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Ellen Barkin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Themselves
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

In what was meant as a harmless birthday prank, three of Reagan High School's most popular girls, Julie, Marcie, and Courtney pretend to kidnap their friend, the latter shoving a jawbreaker into the victim's mouth to keep her from screaming. Their plan goes awry when the girl accidentally swallows the jawbreaker, choking to death. The cool and calculating Courtney tries to cover the crime but is found out by school geek Fern Mayo. In return for her silence, Courtney transforms the gawky Fern into the stylishly beautiful Vylette, leaving the conscience-stricken Julie out in the cold, threatening to set her up for the girl's murder if she breaks her silence. Written by Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Suck it and see... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and violence, all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Um Crime Entre Amigas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,603,425 (USA) (19 February 1999)

Gross:

$3,071,947 (USA) (16 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/director Darren Stein originally intended to write a horror film. When he started writing the script, he based it on a group of girls he went to school with who would kidnap each other on their birthdays and thought, "What if that went horribly wrong?" In the process he eventually realized that he was actually writing a dark comedy. See more »

Goofs

When the newly-created Vylette walks into the school hallway for the first time, we clearly see her wearing a pair of coral-colored high-heeled pumps. The shot of her entering the cafeteria however clearly shows her wearing red low-heeled scuffs, then when she's seated the high-heeled pumps are back. See more »

Quotes

Vylette: This is high school, Detective Cruz. What is a friend anyway?
Detective Vera Cruz: A friend is someone who tells the truth no matter what. A true friend never lies.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Murder Pact (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Flow
Written by Gary Clark, Eric Pressley and Keely Hawkes
Performed by Transister
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets and Virgin Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A sweet and colorful dark comedy that's still a little hard to swallow
21 January 2004 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

Much like the candy that bears it's name, "Jawbreaker" is a sweet, infectious dark comedy that wants you to enjoy it for a good, long time. Unfortunately, also like the candy, the film is a little hard to swallow, and it doesn't last as long or come on as strong as it's name would lead you to believe. But even though you know that much candy is bad for you, you still want to have it.

On her 17th birthday, popular girl Liz (Charlotte Ayanna, here as Charlotte Roldan), a member of the "Flawless Four," is kidnapped by her best friends Courtney (Rose McGowan), Marcie (Julie Benz), and Julie (Rebecca Gayheart) as a prank, her screams muffled by a huge jawbreaker. The prank goes horribly wrong, however, when Liz chokes to death on the candy. Instead of going to the authorities, as Julie insists, Courtney devises a massive plan to cover up the death, a plan discovered by the unpopular and awkward Fern (Judy Greer). To win her silence, Courtney makes Fern in her own image, renaming her Vylette and allowing her to hang and commiserate with the most popular people in school. As Fern becomes intoxicated with her new-found power, Julie becomes more concerned with her friend's death, and Courtney spins a devious web of lies and trickery. Enter Detective Vera Cruz (Pam Grier), the only person who may be able to get to the bottom of the crime. But what does all this mean for the Prom?

Writer and director Darren Stein as obviously seen "Heathers" a good number of times. Like that classic film of teen angst, "Jawbreaker" is a dark comedy set in a high school, featuring an accidental murder of a popular student. While "Jawbreaker" is certainly more colorful than "Heathers", both in terms of set design and characters, it also comes off as a pale imitation. The students live their lives in near-vacuums, with parents showing up only occasionally, and then only as ineffective or ignorant. The impact of their actions on the community at large is only hinted at, and as a result, you never feel as if anything important in the reality of this film has ever happened.

That being said, the movie is still pretty sweet. Rose McGowan is cruel and calculating villain, terrifying in her powers of manipulation and contingency. Julie Benz is the perfect toadie, existing only to buoy Courtney's already swollen ego. Rebecca Gayheart's warm-natured Julie is a stark contrast to Courtney's "Satan-in-heels" persona, and Judy Greer is wonderful to watch as she goes from under-appreciated geek to power-mad diva. Pam Grier is, as always, a pleasure to watch, even if her role seems too small. The interactions between her and Rose McGowan are some of the highlights of the film. A good supporting cast also deserves mention, most notably Carol Kane as the slightly daffy school principal, Marilyn Manson as a seedy barfly, and Ethan Erickson as the dumb jock being relentlessly manipulated by Courtney's sex games.

While the script is full of caustic one-liners, it never succumbs to its own hipness. The characters are witty, but not nearly as unrealistically urbane as the characters in movies like "Scream." Some scenes and interactions come off as gratuitous, and to be sure there are a number of times when Stein really wants you to notice to how well he paid attention at film school. But there are a number of scenes that gain new meaning when analyzed in the larger scheme of the movie, and a repeat viewing may be in order to catch the full signifcance. You may sometimes get so distracted by the candy-colored schemes (McGowan's lips alone may send you into insulin shock) that you'll forget about the plot.

Some may see the movie as derivative, and there are certainly a large number of detractors. But taken on its own merits, "Jawbreaker" is a fun, giddily dark comedy that requires more than few licks to get to the bottom of. Just keep your consumption to a moderate amount, and you'll do fine. 7 out of 10.


39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page