From Justin To Kelly

Crimes

  • Bringing American Idol-style cheesiness to the big screen
  • Building a vehicle around stars who can't act, a love story between leads with no chemistry, and a musical with some of the most soulless generi-pop this side of, well, American Idol
  • Taking a text-message-intensive plot that would barely pass muster as the premise for a Backstreet Boys video, then stretching it to feature length
  • Concluding with a version of "That's The Way (I Like It)" that makes K.C. And The Sunshine Band's original sound like a lost collaboration between George Clinton and Sly And The Family Stone
  • Promising MTV-style titillation, then delivering ABC Family-style wholesomeness, particularly during a whipped-cream bikini contest featuring some of the most modest whipped-cream bikinis ever worn

Defender
Director Robert Iscove, stars Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini

Tone Of Commentary
Cheerful, spare, positive. Clarkson and Guarini, who are apparently seeing the film for the first time, seem way too impressed by movie magic's ability to manufacture illusion. Everyone keeps telling everyone else how great they did, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. The commentators seem to view making the film as a technical exercise rather than an artistic endeavor.

What Went Wrong
Iscove keeps pointing out continuity errors and mistakes, but the nitpicking seems a bit like complaining about the Nazis' healthcare system. At least the cast got to see a manatee.

Comments On The Cast
Seldom is heard a discouraging word, although amazingly, Clarkson's hair is subjected to more gentle ribbing than Guarini's. Nearly everyone is praised for being a trouper and not complaining, in spite of inhospitable weather.

Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
Iscove refers to Where The Boys Are as "the best spring-break movie before this."

Commentary In A Nutshell
"This has turned out great," marvels Clarkson late in the film, prompting Iscove to reply, "You guys are great in it."