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.
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.
A few years before the events depicted in the 1999 film. It follows the lives of rich step siblings Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil as they playfully manipulate the people surrounding them at their exclusive New York prep school.Written by
The original pilot episode and most of the first two episodes of the original shot footage were included in the movie but here are the major differences from the TV series to actual movie:
Sarah Thompson's character was actually called Annette Hargrove but is now called Danielle Sherman.
Keri Lynn Pratt's character was actually called Cecile Caldwell, but is now called Cherie Crayman.
"TV friendly" dialog was originally used instead of what is currently present.
A different score and soundtrack was used.
Certain sub-plots (More about secret Manchester Prep tribunal, characters Penny Cartwright, Todd Michaels, Millicent Davies, Nigel Danby, etc.) were dropped from the plot completely focusing on the Merteuil/Valmont family completely.
10 minutes of newly added footage which was shot in 2000, including the shower sex scene with the twins, and the twist ending.
This is another one of those "Why bother?" sequels, or should say prequel? The film opens with a scene that mirrors the opening scene in the original "Cruel Intentions." And we also have a few other scenes that were mimicked straight from the original. We're introduced to some new characters, which were supposed to purposely bear similarities to ones in the original, like the nerdy blonde chick who was a mimic of Selma Blair's character.
This movie was originally going to become a TV show, "Manchester Prep." But with all the controversy, it never made it to air. I think it might've worked out quite well as a TV program, and I probably would've watched it--but if you're going to coarsen it up a bit and transform it into a direct-to-video prequel to "Cruel Intentions"...once again, I say "Why bother?"
The actors, in general, were a notch below the ones in the original. The one who played Sebastian in this installment doesn't have the charm or looks of Ryan Phillippe. In fact, he looks pretty geeky. You can't imagine this guy seducing an old lady, much less his beautiful love interest in the movie. The actress who takes over the role of Catherine has that "b**ch" quality that almost measures up Sarah Michelle's, so I can't really complain about her performance.
If anything, this movie has more of a sense of humor. There are some sitcom-like gags--again showing us this was more suited for TV--that I got a chuckle out of.
The plot goes through the formulaic motions, and concludes with a preposterous plot twist that--I guess--served as an eye-opener for an otherwise mediocre tale. Speaking of eye-openers, there's a shower scene that the guys will fully appreciate. *wink wink* If you have the DVD, it's much more convenient. You can just go straight to that scene. God bless the makers of DVD!!!
OK, that was a shallow comment, but I'm not criticizing "Casablanca" over here. This is a direct-to-video prequel, and you pretty much get what you expect. I loved the original "Cruel Intentions," but I can't say I'm going to keep high expectations for anything that heads straight to the video racks. But I have to say my expectations were slightly heightened when I found out Roger Kumble, the writer/director of the original, wrote and directed this movie, too.
My score: 5 (out of 10)
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