The last thing I wrote in my notes at the preview screening of "Uptown Girls" was "could have been worse." I guess that means some part of me was somewhat charmed by this silly, weightless yet self-serious modern fairy tale of a dead rock star's impetuously carefree daughter who must come to terms with the real world when her accountant absconds with her inheritance.
But the contrived story gets by only on the middling magnetism of its stars: Brittany Murphy as flighty, Peter-Pan-syndromed Molly Gunn and 8-year-old Dakota Fanning as Ray, an uptight little rich girl who slowly loosens up when Molly takes a job as her nanny.
As they learn neatly packaged life lessons from each other and grow into more well-round people, the laughs are often predicated on either Murphy's pratfalls (beautiful actresses playing clumsy is Hollywood's idea of making them seem "common") or the cuteness quotient of a pretty blonde child wearing Chanel, listening to Mozart, acting snooty and speaking in multi-syllabic words she can hardly wrap her mouth around.
Continue reading: Uptown Girls Review