WHATEVER IT TAKES (2000)

MCDWHIT EC048

 

Directed By: David Raynr
Written By: Mark Schwahn
Cinematography: Tim Suhrstedt
Editor: Ronald Roose 

Cast: Shane West, James Franco, Marla Sokoloff, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Aaron Paul, Kip Pardue, Julia Sweeney, Colin Hanks, Richard Schiff, Vanessa Evigan, David Koechner, Nick Cannon, Christine Lakin, Manu Intiraymi, Scott Vickaryous

 

A modern-day remake of the Cyrano DeBergerac tale.

This comes off as a studio trying To throw theirs hat Into the teen movie box office race. As it is treated so simplistically and cheaply.

It’s an oddity to see some big name actors now, Play smaller roles or barely starring roles here.

The lead played by Shane West is supposed to be a nerd but looks like a heartthrob. So it’s hard to believe he has a hard time getting girls. It might have been more interesting if he and the other lead James Franco played each others roles.

The film feels constantly lifeless and on life support. It seems to be waiting for the actor’s energy to save it.

The film is the age old story of going after a crush and selling those close to you short to gain success and get the girl. Then realizing what you traded them for isn’t worth it and that you are in love with your best friend. Who is always in love with you. Why else would they have stayed loyal all those years. Then when the popular guy is interested in her he says it’s Love and interest but usually about sex.

Jodi Lyn O’Keefe’s performance saves the film As she is hilarious and gives it her all throughout. She throws herself totally into all of her scenes physically. As the hot girl who seems to deteriorate as her confidence does.

Marla Sokoloff is the other female lead and while she and her sarcastic character are interesting. She is a character and actress who deserves a better movie and it’s a shame, as this was one of the few films where she played a leading role. Where the actress seems More intriguing than the character she plays.

It’s fascinating that where 1980’s studio funded teen film leads usually went onto bigger and better or at least More starring roles. The 1990’s teen romance leading ladies careers seems more hindered or directed more toward television roles. As Freddie Prinze Jr starred in a bunch of these and always found work At the time.

Out of the few stars Jennifer Love Hewitt has the most potential big screen longevity (well deserved) while Jodi lyn O’keefe kept popping up in these teen films like this, SHE’S ALL THAT and HALLOWEEN: H20. Matched by Gabrielle Union who was in SHE’S ALL THAT, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU and BRING IT ON.

In the end even with a good performance from Jodi Lyn O’Keefe and a likeable cast. This film feels like a waste of time. This feels like one of those movies where a star of the future is embarassed because it was more a studio assignment more than anything. Something made just to make money with no artistic or creativity behind it.

Grade: F

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