New Best Friend Movie Review

If the people behind the Girls Gone Wild videos were ever to develop a movie, New Best Friend would be it. Beautiful women grind on each other, share long, lingering kisses and (un)dress like they're preparing for a Maxim cover shoot.

Not a single shred of thought was invested in making this movie. There's not one sympathetic character or interesting thought to be found. If half the budget were actually spent on belly shirts and hair gel, I wouldn't be shocked.

The plot goes something like this. Alicia (Mia Kirshner, the best part of Not Another Teen Movie) is a hard-working, financially strapped student at an upscale southern university. Through circumstances that are as cloudy as the dinosaurs' extinction, Alicia becomes friends with rich girl Hadley (Meredith Monroe). In a mirror of the equally-ignored The In Crowd, Alicia also becomes part of Hadley's crew, which includes Dominique Swain (whose wardrobe primarily consists of a T-shirt and panties) and The Craft's ageless Rachel True.

Circumstances get sticky when Alicia overdoses, and the town's sheriff (Taye Diggs) investigates. Through stories from the three friends and others, Diggs tries to determine who put Alicia on death's door. We also discover more about Hadley and Alicia's rocky friendship, and that Alicia wasn't the nice girl she seemed.

The plot's big obstacle is director Zoe Clarke-Williams' and screenwriter Victoria Strouse's inability to offer the audience any substantial background. We are launched into a series of problems between Alicia and her new friends without any simple questions being answered. Why are Hadley and Alicia paired for a sociology project (that's how they first meet)? If Hadley is so popular, and sits next to her two friends, why didn't she go with someone in her social clique? (Now that's a sociology project for you.) If Alicia is just scraping by financially, how is she able to afford all the ritzy, sexy clothes that become a staple of her wardrobe when she befriends Hadley? How does Alicia go from being a teetotaler to a raging party girl? Is it a ploy? Is she waiting for the right time? Personally, I think the movie brought her to it.

New Best Friend is such a tangled mess that Diggs' detective actually has to explain the ending, Scooby Doo-style, complete with a long voice over. The only thing missing is a mask being pulled off the creepy amusement park owner.

I'm going easy on the actors because the characters are so one-note and unworthy of interest that nobody could make them shine. Kirshner's bad girl role has been done so often it's become a cliché. Her prolonged kisses with Swain are stale, and even their extended foreplay scene seems tacked on. Speaking of Swain, I hope to God she puts on some pants soon. I've seen her in a couple of movies now and it appears that directors only want her to prance around half-dressed. She could be a great actress, but it's impossible to tell. She's too busy being an object.

The casual moviegoer may enjoy New Best Friend, though I don't see how. This is the kind of offering that breaks your spirit and then stomps it into little pieces. Not only is it a textbook example of how not to make a movie, it shows that some studios firmly believe that people have lost the ability to think and will forgive any shoddy product as long as there's a little girl-on-girl action.

Hey, no copying my crappy screenplay!

Cast & Crew

Producer : Frank Mancuso Jr.


New Best Friend Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: R, 2002


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