Sunday, 20 September 2020
John Tucker Must Die
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 31 July 2006 17:59

If you fondly remember classic teen movies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or even Clueless and American Pie this movie is not for you. So what do those movies have that John Tucker Must Die doesn’t? How about a brain! Filled with so many stereotypes and predictable to the max, this movie might provide an escape from the hot summer sun, but not much else.

Kate (Brittany Snow) is the soft-spoken heroine of the film who never lives in one town long enough to make friends because her super-hot mom (Jenny McCarthy) changes boyfriends like she changes her underwear. (Hey, if the movie can be full of clichés so can my review!) Kate dubs all her mothers’ men “Skip” because they all skip out on her the day after.

Tension is high at Kate’s newest high school because three girls from different cliques have just discovered they have all been dating the same guy at the same time. Heather (Ashanti) is the head cheerleader and acts like a princess. Carrie (Arielle Kebbel) is a school reporter and supposedly a brain. And Beth is the earthy free-loving vegan. The object of their affections John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) is easily the hottest and most popular guy in school.

Enter Kate, who suggests that instead of fighting each other the girls band together and get even. So they start using high tech camera equipment and computers to spy on him. (By the way, as a graphic designer, unrealistic computer scenes in movies really irk me.) Revenge, to these girls, means making John un-dateable by emasculating him. Pictures of him in a woman’s thong, and rumors of STD’s begin circulating. The most outlandish prank is when they sneak estrogen into his power shake causing him to behave like a woman with PMS. I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that is grounds for arrest.

A major flaw for me in this movie was how unbelievable the teenagers were. They looked about as much like high school students as Dylan and Andrea from Beverly Hills 90210. But that’s nothing new. What I really found unbelievable was the dates these kids went on, from champagne on a yacht to formal birthday bashes. Whether they have super rich parents or serious credit-card debt we’ll never know. All the flash is just a ploy for the filmmakers to make a fast getaway.

Strangely enough through all of this the one character we end up rooting for and even admiring is John Tucker. Sure, he’s a complete womanizing liar, but at least he has the presence of mind to turn the tables on the ridiculous plans dreamt up by the girls. He manages to turn every disaster, no matter how embarrassing, into something positive all the while charming the socks off the female lead.

With a name like John Tucker Must Die I was expecting this movie to be a much darker comedy. But any bite it might have had is wasted by the morals tacked on at the end. Be creative people! Why not actually have them kill John Tucker? To be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting - maybe something more along the lines of Heathers or Election. I would have even settled for the fun, spirited Mean Girls.

John Tucker Must Die gets 3 out of 10 stars.