That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Love Don't Cost A Thing is the latest in stupid high school movies. Except it doesn't have a single iota of humor or charm. Not one. It ain't funny, it ain't smart, and it just ain't right.
The plot: A remake of 1987's Can't Buy Me Love gone backwards and urban, we have a desperate indie-rocker girl who pays the cool dude $1,500 to play her boyfriend for two weeks. No sex, no public making out, no makeover. Filter in the guy from Drumline (Nick Cannon) and a fine girl named Paris (bad timing, guys), and add every reference to Sean John clothing imaginable.
Every single standard of the high-school geek angst formula is there: the impossibly large and typecast school with a campus the size of Princeton and a gym the size of a large closet; the perfectly timed breakup with the perfect boyfriend; the Jim's Dad sex-crazed father (Steve Harvey, the only good part of an otherwise horrible flick). Love Don't Cost a Thing actually goes above and beyond the call of duty of teen cheese, giving us not one but two synchronized dances of large portions of the high school (and neither of them is at a dance).
We've all seen this before. Boy meets girl. Boy bribes girl to become cool. Boy becomes cool and forgets girl. Boy reminded of utter stupidity with cheap sweet gestures and the time honored "I'm just going to be myself" speech in front of the whole school. There is absolutely no reason to see it again, unless you feel the need to relive high school as if it were drawn by Stevie Wonder.
There is only one good point to Love Don't Cost a Thing. With absolutely no charm, no funny moments, and no "awwww" moments, Love Don't Cost a Thing won't go to repeat viewing on the teen-friendly TV rerun market. Not even the type of person who makes it a point to recapture their youth by watching The Breakfast Club every Saturday morning would be caught dead with a copy of Love Don't Cost a Thing. After it's out of theatres and first-run video stores, this stupid movie will be going, going, gone the hell out of our memory.
Editor's Note: It's not nearly as bad as James says it is, so give this Thing a chance on DVD. Here you'll find deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a pair of videos, and the usual making-of featurette.
Fries don't cost a thing.
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th December 2003
Box Office USA: $21.7M
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Alcon Entertainment, CRML Production
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 63
IMDB: 4.9 / 10
Director: Troy Beyer
Starring: Nick Cannon as Alvin Johnson, Christina Milian as Paris Morgan, Steve Harvey as Clarence Johnson, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Vivian Johnson, Nichole Galicia as Yvonne Freeman, Melissa Schuman as Zoe Parks, Sam Sarpong as Kadeem, Al Thompson as Ted, Elimu Nelson as Dru Hilton, Kenan Thompson as Walter Colley, Kal Penn as Kenneth Warman, Reagan Gomez-Preston as Olivia, Nicole Scherzinger as Champagne Girl
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