I've liked every effort I've seen by young actress Evan Rachel Wood ("13" being a stellar example, and "Missing" being another). This is no exception. "Pretty Persuasion" is akin to "Election" (Reese Witherspoon) for the first half, with a dark, witty sense of humor about high school aged people playing mental "chess" with each other, their teachers, and parents. Slowly the story morphs darker, into something like "To Die For" (Nicole Kidman), with a media-made, fame-driven main character willing to do whatever it takes to reach a twisted idea of recognition and advancement. THIS would be enough for the film to be interesting and well done within its own right, but then it goes further. Further. This film is billed as a comedy. If it is, it is not for long
a) if you watch the entire thing, and b) you pay attention. I was expecting a good film. I received even more.