All The Boys Love Mandy Lane Movie Review
Here, Heard plays the title character, Mandy Lane. She's a junior at a small town Texas high school, and the embodiment of every boy's fantasy. As the film opens, Mandy and her best friend, Emmet (Michael Welch), go to a party where the school jock, Dylan (Adam Powell), leaps from his roof to impress Mandy, but misses the swimming pool below. The concrete doesn't have much mercy. His untimely death comes into play later in the movie.
Nine months later, Mandy and friends approach the end of another school year. To celebrate, some of her fellow students invite Emmet and her to a weekend of alcohol and debauchery at a desolate ranch home. After some deliberation, they decide to go. At first, they have a good time with the lack of parents and the abundance of booze, sex, and drugs. But then the teenagers start getting brutally murdered by one of their friendly peers...
Back to the peculiar career of Amber Heard. In Never Back Down, Heard delivered an atrocious enough performance to lower the caliber of every scene in which she appeared; when Paris Hilton can deliver her lines with more conviction than you, it's time to find a new acting coach, Amber. The same can be said about her acting in Nick Cassavetes' Alpha Dog.
But oddly, she's quite good in Mandy Lane, which is strange because it was shot before Never Back Down. It's almost as if her talent is degenerating with experience. Here, she's quite the opposite from the earlier film, conveying the perfect blend of innocence, deception, and charm. She's the highlight of the movie. Unfortunately, this time, the movie is so bad, it doesn't matter that she's good.
Director Jonathan Levine (of the upcoming The Wackness) has personality as a filmmaker, but turns Mandy Lane into a vanity project, treating it like an immature high school film lab experiment. He makes it so self-aware that the movie feels like a feature length music video that's too busy admiring itself it the mirror to make any sense.
Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without taking.