This takes place several years before Cruel Intentions (1999), back to when Kathryn first meets Sebastian, their sexual attraction to each other and their enjoyment in destroying the lives of their peers.
Keri Lynn Pratt
Two guys at a college prep school make wagers on seducing naive young girls, and then meet their match when they agree to see which one can seduce the most popular and devious girl who has her own agenda to everything.
When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear.
Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont are seductive, manipulative step-siblings who get what they want when they want it. Kathryn makes a bet with Sebastian: Sebastian must bed Annette, daughter of the headmaster at their school, before the end of summer break. Annette has stated that she would wait until love and marriage to sleep with a man. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian's vintage 1959 Jaguar Roadster. If Sebastian wins, he gets Kathryn, the only girl he knows he'll never have. Also in play is Cecile, a naïve girl whose mother had enlisted Kathryn to help her fit in at her new school. However, Kathryn (with Sebastian's help) plans to ruin Cecile's reputation as revenge on Kat's ex-boyfriend, who left her for Cecile.
Has some redeeming qualities, but I don't recommend this one
The main reason I wanted to see this one is because I am a big SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR fan. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is one of my all-time favorite shoes. I also rather like REESE WITHERSPOON and a few of the other actors in this movie. The plot also seemed original and interesting, and of course there was no hiding the sexy scenes that seemed like it would add to the plot. It turns out this movie is just a collection of these scenes, with a seemingly original, but actually predictable, plot to hold them together.
Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) are two victims of bad parenting. They are two rich stepchildren who enjoy making other students miserable. Kathryn, with a reputation as the perfect student, often uses others to ruin people's lives. Sebastian, who has a very nasty reputation that he is proud of, prefers to do the work himself. He finds an attractive girl, charms her over, sleeps with her, and finally ruining her reputation. Kathryn has set her sights on the ditsy Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair), while Sebastian goes for the great challenge of seducing and ruining the all-American, virgin, goody-goody Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). Sebastian has a bet with Kathryn that he can win Annette over. If she wins, she gets his Jaguar. If he wins, she gets to sleep with her.
The plot, in writing, sounds fairly original. This is really just a shield. In truth, this movie is a mixture of two things. One is a predictable love story. The other is a bunch of scenes intended to turn on the teenagers who watch it, and get them to watch it over and over. I am a teenager, and I had no real desire to watch this movie again afterwards.
The acting is about even. Sarah Michelle Gellar does an excellent job as the scheming, evil rich-b***h. Reese Witherspoon did a pretty good job, but her character was not especially interesting. Joshua Jackson and Selma Blair are extremely annoying in this movie, which is good because it is what they are meant to be. Blair did better than Jackson, for the record. Ryan Phillippe did OK, but I really didn't buy his evil rich-guy character. The characters in this movie aren't anything great. This is probably because the two main characters are rich mean people, which most viewers can't relate to or enjoy much. The target audience is obviously teens, but these people, although cute, probably remind them too much of students they hate. Witherspoon's character is a little 2D, mostly because she was underplayed and the two main characters were overplayed. Blair's character is pretty fun.
The movie is very predictable. I had the entire movie figured out by the previews, and my theory (which was correct) didn't change at all watching this movie. There is only one part I didn't see coming, which happens near the end. The ending of this movie is the best part, even though I saw it coming since the beginning.
If you feel like getting drunk and watching a movie with college buds so you can drool and howl at the TV, this movie is a good choice. Most teenagers would probably enjoy it too, especially fans of the actors, but I can't say I recommend this one.
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