Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
well-intentioned film that misses the mark
In most respects, this film is a clunker, hence the bad reviews; however, it is only fair to note that what the film is, and what it obviously intended to be, are two entirely different things.
I don't know anything about the film's history, but it comes across like a no-budget college student film. Penned and directed by Francesco Lucente, the story is about a wager between two high school students, Mike and Randy. Mike, frustrated by the fact that he's constantly one-upped by the hubristic Randy, bets his nemesis $2,000 that he can bed Diane, the title character, who obviously has a reputation at stake. And the `courtship' is on. However, as Mike undertakes the challenge, he finds himself falling for his intended conquest.
Similar plot lines have been used to better effect in recent efforts, namely She's All That starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, and American Pie, featuring the relationship between Chris Klein (Oz) and Mena Suvari (Heather), both released in 1999. Unfortunately, Lucente didn't have an astronomical budget to work with - heck, none of the scenes even feature St. Francis High. But, low budget efforts have worked before, so that can't be targeted as the primary reason this film doesn't work.
The film mainly falls flat for two reasons: 1) a weak script, and 2) a wooden performance by Joseph Straface in the leading male role. Straface just doesn't possess the acting chops to convince the audience that Mike has what it takes to win over Diane, and therefore it isn't very believable when he does succeed in his mission. Even so, Stacy Christensen delivers a respectable performance as Diane, the title character, and Anna-Lisa Iapaolo (now a New York-based jazz singer) as her best friend Judy, Lee Barringer as Randy, and J. T. Wotton as Charles (Mike's best friend and Judy's younger brother), do adequately in their supporting roles. Wotton, in fact, comes across as a natural in front of the camera, managing to salvage many of his scenes with Straface, whose character has most of the screen time.
The ending of the film was downright ridiculous, consisting of a `chickie run' between Mike and Randy. I was left with the impression that Lucente chose to work the scene in out of homage to Rebel Without A Cause, a true teen classic, completely neglecting the fact that it was an absolutely pointless maneuver on his part. It just doesn't seem to really fit into the film. It was as though he had run out of ideas and was fishing for a dramatic ending.
Although the film does have some heart, it lacks much else to recommend it, save for some half-way decent tunes on the soundtrack. Sadly, I must concur with the overall consensus that there really isn't much going to recommend this film to others, unless you want to be left, like I was, with a feeling of what could have been but never will be.