Drive Me Crazy

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Drive Me Crazy

In high school, it's easy to feel like the events in your life, particularly your love life, are the most important things in the world. Of course, they aren't, but that doesn't prevent anyone going through the awkward pangs of adolescence from feeling like the world will collapse if you don't go out with the right person or make the right connections. Self-interest never really leaves you, but it's especially powerful in high school. One of the sneaky strengths of teen films—and particularly romantic melodramas like Drive Me Crazy—is that they feed into teenagers' secret belief that the whole world comes to an end after graduation, so the activities of their last days in high school take on mythic proportions. Teen dream Melissa Joan Hart stars as a popular, image-conscious member of the high-school in-crowd who arranges to go to the big dance with her semi-bohemian next-door neighbor (Adrian Grenier) after both are dissed by members of their respective cliques. In the tradition of every teen romance ever made, the two can't stand each other at first, but later come to realize that peer-group differences are nothing that a makeover, a montage sequence, and a big dance can't overcome. To its credit, Drive Me Crazy doesn't underestimate the pain and alienation the high-school caste system engenders, nor does it paint a rosy picture of either peer group. (Both come across as fairly arbitrary and harsh.) At the same time, almost nothing here doesn't feel familiar along the lines of Some Kind Of Wonderful by way of She's All That. Drive Me Crazy is formulaic, but at least it drains every last drop out of its chosen formula, which gives it a slight edge over the inept teen films that have polluted the market in recent months.

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