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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.
Courtney(Rose Mcgowan),Julie(Rebecca Gayheart),Marcie(Julie Benz) and Liz(Charlotte Ayanna) were the most popular girls at school. But on Liz's 17th birthday, her friends want to surprise her and kidnap her. But that plan goes wrong, when accidently, Liz chokes on the jawbreaker, her friends stuffed in her mouth to keep her from screaming. Everyone is totally shocked, except the cold hearted Courtney, who just doesn't give a crap about anybody but herself. Julie wants to go to the police right away and tell them what happened but Courtney calms her down and tries to cover the crime and make it look like somebody raped Liz. Suddenly, a geeky outcast named Fern Mayo(Judy Greer) who has always admired Liz, finds out what happened to her and is totally devasted. Courtney tells her if she keeps her mouth shut, she will make Fern something she always wanted to be. POPULAR. This was a very entertaining and fun dark comedy. I enjoyed it a lot. Rose Mcgowan is gorgeous and does a great job along with the rest of the cast. I would give Jawbreaker 10/10
What happens when you take the movie "Heathers", sprinkle on some
"Clueless", and add a pinch of "Carrie"? Well, you get the phat movie
Jawbreaker, a good movie which really lets Rebecca Gayheart and Rose McGowen
shine like the stars they are!
The movie itself is somewhat true to the lives of teenagers---there was always that incredibly exclusive group of kids that NOBODY but NOBODY could be good friends with. Well, this movie lets us see into one of these groups...and what lies underneath is totally rotton.
Rose McGowen is a total witch, much to the dismay of Rebecca Gayheart...who has to solve the puzzle of Courtney's scheme after her character Julie is tossed from the clique. The ending is pretty memorable...reaching back to it's roots of Carrie.
Speaking of Carrie...P.J. Soles is in the movie, as well as the cool Carol Kane (When a Stranger Calls). I really enjoyed the movie as did my friends. A laugh-a-thon that doesn't try to take itself TOO seriously, and remembering that is a good thing.
Oh, and Rebecca Gayheart is grrrreat!
"Jawbreaker" has all the predictable, clichéd elements of past teen comedies, but I can't deny the fact that I enjoyed it. I think part of its appeal is that it's a darker comedy, like "Heathers"--though this movie certainly isn't in the same league. Everybody in the cast gives fine performances. Rose McGowan's is a little over-the-top, but I think it fit the tone of the movie. The running time is about 85 minutes, so it doesn't go on long. There are plenty of funny moments that keep it entertaining. You can argue that the Karen Carpenter joke was too cruel, but that joke alone didn't ruin the film for me. The ending is certainly a cop-out. There could've been a MUCH better pay-off! But despite the fact that "Jawbreaker" is undoubtedly a flawed film, it's energetic and fun. There are much worse teen movies out there.
Jawbreaker is a copy of a copy. It takes plot points from Heathers,
Carrie, and uses some originals of it's own to create itself. It's not
a bad film. Actually one of the better teen films I have seen recently.
It reminds me of a much more recent film I saw a few months back called
Mean Girls. Of course that came five years later. This one has all very
beautiful, and perky actresses that flood the screen at one time, much
like Mean Girls. But Mean Girls was a film that was much more tame and
lit the screen up. This one falls under a dark comedy.
Let me just say I love Rebecca Gayheart. I had a childhood crush on her, and she's probably the reason for my love behind Santa's Slay. She's gorgeous, one of the most beautiful and underrated actresses in the business today. She gets a promising, and an effective role in this film. From her constant beauty on screen, to her sassy ways in the later parts of the film, she finds ways to surprise me. Very worthy, respectable part for her.
The plot is about three teen girls named Courtney (McGowan), Marcie (Benz), and Julie (Gayheart) who, as a birthday prank, gag their friend Liz with a jawbreaker, and throw her in the trunk of their car. They drive for a brief time, before stopping at a diner, and opening the trunk to realize she is dead. She had swallowed the giant jawbreaker, and now the girls realize their stunt has gone wrong.
To avoid trouble, Courtney calls Liz in sick, and they go to school like normal. Courtney (pretending to be Liz's mother) on the phone to give one of the girls Liz's homework for the day. The principal gives Courtney the homework, which she forgets, and another student named Fern Mayo (Judy Greer), a nerdy bookworm, is sent with Liz's homework. Fern absolutely adores Liz and her beauty, so upon arriving to Fern's house and entering, she finds the girls trying to cover up Liz's corpse with a faulty rape story.
Fern now knows a secret that shouldn't have been told. She has the power of blackmail. Courtney assures the crew that Fern will become the missing link in the "Flawless Four". They give Fern an amazing makeover, which she quickly takes to her head. Who could blame her? This is her first time she's been noticed. She's bound to let the newly given makeover get blown out of proportion. In the meantime, Courtney rejects Julie because of her wanting to do the right thing, and not take Fern for granted. Courtney basically says "you're out bitch!" and shuns her out of the picture. Courtney, Marcie, and Fern (now Vylette) are on their own. Hiding from a dark secret.
Upon it's release, Jawbreaker was met with negative reception because of it's dim-witted cast and copycat like plot. While it does sample from other movies, like stated above, it finds ways to be unique and clever. It throws in some original material of it's own. I love movies about teenage girls. Not just coming-of-age films, but films where high school girls are their own worst enemy. Where they are both the protagonist and the antagonist. What fun these movies bring! Starring: Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz, Judy Greer, Ethan Erickson, Carol Kane, Pam Grier. Directed by: Darren Stein.
The first time I saw this movie was in TV and I liked it so much i
recorded it on tape. And watched it again and again and again and
again...till the tape was done.....so i bought it on DVD one year
later.... At the beginning i thought it's gonna be just "another teen
movie"... BUT IT'S NOT!
Jawbreaker is just the most funny,exciting,evil,mean teen-movie ever made. I just love it.
Rose McGowan is just awesome as THE MOST EVIL BITCH EVER Courtney Shane.
This movie has everything you need: -) A REALLY FREAKY STORY -) MUCH OF BLACK HUMOR -) A GREAT CAST -) AWESOME SOUNDTRACK -) REALLY GOOD JOKES
And what is also very cool are the Guest-Stars: Marilyn Manson, Pam Grier, The Donnas,.....
SO WATCH IT!!!!!!!!
When you watch "Jawbreaker," you can't help but sense echoes of
"Clueless" and "The Craft." So it is a bit of a derivative teen bopper
flick. But it's not a total rip-off and does stand on its own two feet.
However, it's a fun movie. And it has a great soundtrack, which I have. I love the use of the song "Rock Me Like a Hurricane" in the Marilyn Manson cameo. Pam Grier also had an interesting bit role, as a tough-as-nails private investigator. "Jawbreaker" has its flaws, but it's fast-paced, energetic and sometimes pretty funny.
The only big letdown was the ending. Couldn't they come up with something more torcherous to do to Courtney? Evidently, the writer Darren Stein was too anxious to complete the script and pasted on this snappy, thoughtless ending.
As Heathers did, this film tries to do. It is supposed to be a clever black comedy that is twisted, sick, and you have a hell of a fun time viewing it. Jawbreaker succeeds in nothing. Absolutely nothing. I like Rose McGowan but as you're supposed to, you don't love her. Rebecca Gayheart is the one you're supposed to root for, I couldn't stand her in this role. And the rest of the cast besides the school's principal, fell flat. That's not their fault, it is the faulty script. Unwitty dialogue and unclever antics make this film a downer. After accidently killing a friend they hatch a cover up scheme yet obviously someone is uncovering it. Now one friend must find a way to prove that her friend killed this girl. I didn't get that factor. It was an accident, yes it turned sick, but Courtney didn't actually, purposefully kill the girl. The ending is predictable, and there is crappy casting. I say this because Marilyn Manson is cast as a man that well... does... his real-life love interest Rose McGowan. It's odd, unfunny, and with a black comedy, it should be witty. This isn't. D-
A pack of 'mean girls' play a prank on the school's prom queen. They
kidnap her and put a jawbreaker gumball in her mouth to keep her quiet,
hence the title. One problem: she chokes on the gumball. Now the girls
have a dead body on their hands. The movie slides into familiar
territory (The Trouble with Harry, Weekend at Bernie's) as the girls
try to figure out how to get rid of the body while avoiding suspicion.
Cops and other complicating factors begin showing up at the worst
possible moment, etc. etc. The comedic complications are mostly well
executed, and the usual pangs of conscience and arguments among the
conspirators keep things lively.
The three lead actresses give assured performances, but it is a bit distracting that they are 26, 27 and 28 years old, playing high school seniors. Yikes.
There is nothing obviously wrong with this movie, but its virtues are few and small and there just isn't a whole lot here that is truly new and fresh.
Jawbreaker;; There's always that group at rule the school. At Reagan
High, it's the foursome, Courtney, Liz, Marcie and Julie. The plot is
set in motion on the morning of Liz's birthday, when Courtney, Marcie
and Julie break into her house, shove a jawbreaker in her mouth and
lock her in the trunk. But their harmless prank goes horribly wrong
when they discover Liz has choked on the jawbreaker. The rest of the
running time involves the girls trying to cover up the murder and
bribing a nerd to keep her mouth shut.
I am a fan of teen movies and black comedies. Assuming Jawbreaker falls into both of those genre's I was expecting to adore the film. The problem with 'Jawbreaker' lies in the fact that the conflict is set into motion within the first 5 minutes, leaving the rest of the film running of low gas. But it offers enough one-liners, laughs and style to make up for the flaws.
Performances are good around, and a keen sense of the bitchy high school girl stereotype is cleverly constructed here. After all, everybody has a Courtney in their life. She's the girl who loves to be feared, and MCGowen does a great job pulling her persona off.
3 from 4.
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