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Pretty Persuasion (2005)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,061 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 76 user | 66 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A 15-year-old girl incites chaos among her friends and a media frenzy when she accuses her drama teacher of sexual harassment.

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Title: Pretty Persuasion (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Wagner ...
Morgan (as David T. Wagner)
Brent Goldberg ...
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Storyline

Manipulative high school sophomore Kimberly Joyce leads her friends Brittany Wells and Randa Azzouni in bringing charges of sexual assault against Percy Anderson, their English and drama teacher at an exclusive private school in Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, local reporter Emily Klein, originally assigned to do an insignificant piece on the school, hopes that the scandal will launch her into celebrity in the television news business, while Kimberly's bigoted father, Hank, is concerned primarily with the effect that his daughter's accusations may have on his business. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil comes in a school uniform. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and graphic dialogue involving teens, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 May 2006 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

High School Confidential  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$58,570 (USA) (12 August 2005)

Gross:

$305,688 (USA) (28 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film achieved brief exposure on the Internet after a short lesbian scene was leaked. See more »

Quotes

Brittany Wells: Kimberly, Randa died because of this!
Kimberly Joyce: Every war has its casualties, just ask my brother.
See more »

Connections

References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Stiffed
Written by Carvin Knowles
Performed by The SEX-O-RAMA Band
Published by Oglio Music
Administered by The Bicycle Music Company
Courtesy of The Oglio Entertainment Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Pretty Persuasion
15 August 2006 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

I kinda liked this film for almost all the wrong reasons. It's politically incorrect and doesn't make any apologies for doing so, but yet demonstrates a notion that we can be bigots, and yet not be consciously aware of it. After all, it's what has already been internalized, but it becomes exposed quite naturally through our actions and dialogue.

Evan Rachel Wood is the star of the movie. As Kimberly Joyce, she's the high school frat girl like Alicia Silverstone's Cher in Clueless, but in terms of character, she's on the other side of the spectrum. Way on the other side. She's looking for fame, and would do absolutely anything to obtain her 15 minutes worth. She's a temptress, a seductress, highly intelligent, and so manipulative, she can stab you in the back while smiling in front of you, with you none the wiser and probably still worshipping the ground she treads on.

Which brings us back to the title, and makes you wonder if beautiful people can get away with almost anything. I guess it's probably almost human nature to be enchanted by the pretties, and anyone would most likely be lapping up at anything they say. It doesn't take much for a beautiful bitch to realize the power she wields on men who are drunk in her aura, and then to exploit this weakness of people around her.

There are two more key reasons why I enjoyed the movie, besides being enchanted myself by the Kimberly character. The first is the dialogue in the movie - there's so much wit, and it's fast and laced with plenty of double entrées and satire, delivered in a deadpan manner by Rachel Wood no less, you would likely need to re-watch it again to grasp them all. The second is having Kimberly chaperon a newbie in school, an Arab girl called Randa (Adi Schnall), raising some eyebrows as the religious girl gets exposed to pop culture and blatant insensitive racists remarks, and inevitably too becomes a pawn in the whole scheme of things, as does Kimberly's best friend Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois) discover that it's not always fine and dandy being the hunter, as there is always something or someone else higher above in the food chain.

The host of supporting characters raised the movie to another notch. James Woods shines as the foul mouthed father of Kimberly, who sprouts words of wisdom peppered with colourful vulgar, racist remarks. Jamie King completes the household as the long suffering trophy wife/stepmother in the Joyce household, constantly bearing the brunt of insults hurled at her by Kimberly. At school, we have Ron Livingston as Percy Anderson, as the meek and mild mannered school teacher who indulges in role-playing games with the wife at home (Selma Blair), and inadvertently becomes the target and public enemy #1 of Kimberly and friends. And Jane Krakowski in a bimbotic role, stars as a news reporter who finds it increasingly difficult to stay objective when covering possibly the juiciest scandal to hit town.

There's a sub theme running that touches on "saving face", which is an issue to the successful in ensuring that their reputation does not get tarnished in the face of scandals, and is a trait that most Asians are familiar with. It's important that face is not ruined easily by careless actions, as face is something that is most difficult to build in an environment of shame. Having lost face and losing the faith to rebuild it, can lead people to an untimely sad demise.

So if you're up for some scheming betrayal, and plenty of slimy tactics, if you want to observe how seemingly good intentions are actually poisoned barbs that kill slowly, then I hope I've already persuaded you enough to watch this flick.


35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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