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.
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>
The line Courtney threatens Fern with in the bathroom ("I made you, and I can break you just as easily") is a homage to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and is the same line Dr. Frank-N-Furter uses to threaten Rocky, his creation, with. See more »
When Liz's parents return home and open the front door, if you look in the background you can clearly see that it does not match with a "real outside setting" for the neighborhood. The background is very bright and blue. See more »
`Jawbreaker' is an obvious aspirant to the mantle of the legendary `Heathers' - one of the smartest, sassiest, and sharpest teen movies ever made. An ostensibly similar plot sees the most popular - and most spiteful - clique at school accidentally murder their classmate. The school nerd is their only witness. In return for her silence, they agree to make her over in their image, tempting her with the promise of popularity. Unfortunately, `Jawbreaker' lacks everything that made `Heathers' great. As a `Clueless on Crack' it fares a little better - but, given the intriguing possibilities of its concept, is still a disappointment.
Where the earlier movie was intelligently malevolent, `Jawbreaker' is a surprisingly mean-spirited film. Its characters never rise above caricatures, making them difficult to empathise with. The journey of Fern `Mayonnaise' Mayo from school nerd the babelicious Vylette is hollow and unconvincing. Unlike Veronica Sawyer of `Heathers' who undergoes a similar transformation, Vylette seems to gain precious little wisdom from her experiences. Perhaps this has to do with the nails-on-a-blackboard performance of Judy Greer, who seems to believe she is in a John Waters film. This would be fine, if `Jawbreaker' could decide whether it is one or not.
A lazy and sometimes implausible script hanging uneasily between reality, satire, and surrealism offers some clever one liners and sequences, but does little to showcase the talents occasionally on offer. Rose McGowan is the most enjoyable thing about the film for the simple reason that it's clear she isn't taking proceedings too seriously. Rebecca Gayheart's performance is also refreshing; a puddle of reality within the screeching teen-stereotype world around her which throws Judy Greer's Fern/Vylette into even higher relief. Both act as if they are in a better film.
Perhaps the real difference between the two is that `Heathers' had heart and actual insight. `Jawbreaker's heart is as hollow as the view it espouses: it's bad to murder your friend, but it's worse to be a b*tch.
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