A pair of naive young girls learn that even the most insignificant actions can have lasting consequences. Influenced by the hip-hop thug lifestyle and seeking to explore life outside of their insulated, culturally homogenized suburb, pretty young teenagers Allison and Emily set their sights on East L.A. to experience the "gangsta" lifestyle firsthand. By the time the pair meet a ruthless Mexican drug dealer named Hector, some true-life Latino gang-bangers, and realize just how far out of their element they really are, it may already be too late to turn back. Written by
When Allison is talking to her dad at work, he has a water bottle in his hands when the camera is on him the lid is on, but when it turns to Allison the lid is off. It does this for a couple times. See more »
What is it's like we're on our death beds and lookinf back at our lives... and looking at all the guys we've liked loved and just fucked... and it turns out, that the whole time, like we were supposed to be together.
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If there is some justice to misjudging investments in movies, then the fact that this film went directly to DVD despite the presence of a crew that includes some impressive names is notable. Writer Stephen Gaghan ('Traffic', 'Rules of Engagement', 'Syriana', etc) has composed a contrived script about rich, bored, Hip Hop imitating, unmotivated teenagers trying to spice up their insignificant lives by treading into the East LA 'danger zone', an experience from which they learn nothing about cross cultural ethnic groups and just return to Pacific Palisades whining about 'damaged goods'. It is an insulting story, one that stereotypes Hispanics as drug-peddling, raping thugs in a totally black and white manner, not taking into consideration the viewpoint of a cultural group's positive attributes and philosophies.
No longer a viable gimmick, the film begins with the tired cliché of a kid making a documentary about his friends, asking what they like and don't like, their goals, their outlooks. The fact that none of the interviewees has a clue about life, preferring to follow the current Hip Hop language (very poorly written) and focusing on sex, drugs, and escapes from their wealthy environments. Among these are three girls, the main character being Allison (Anne Hathaway, miscast in every way), who follow their superficial boyfriends on a joyride for drugs into East LA. There they meet Hector (Freddy Rodríguez, trying his best to create a character without the benefit of a decent script) who sells them drugs and whom Allison eyes. Allison is so shallow she doesn't have a clue about her motivations, just wanting something 'dangerous' to happen. She coaxes her equally clueless girlfriends into going into East LA to seduce Hector and ends up in a ridiculous barter for joining Hector's gang (no mention is made at all about the Chicanas who would never allow these three geeks to enter their territory unchallenged). The results of a barter results in an experience with which the girls cannot cope so they run back to the protection of the dysfunctional parents they loathe to cover the mess of their caper. Attempts to resolve this dumb story fail pathetically.
With so many fine Indie films that go begging for attention, it is a shame money is wasted on this sort of meaningless mess of a film. The 'unrated' designation is probably meant for the occasional nudity and gratuitous sex and language, but here 'Unrated' might just mean that the film is so without merit that it is non-classifiable. Avoid this one and don't think that a fine writer such as Gaghan guarantees a successful story. Grady Harp
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