Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions is the latest teen exploitation film based on the 1782 novel Les Liasons Dangeruses by Choderlos De Laclo. It's a great piece of eye candy; nothing more, nothing less.

Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and his step-sister Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) lead comfortable wealthy lives in Manhattan. The problem with being given everything you could want (materialistic ally, of course), is boredom. Sebastian, who has a reputation for being a womaniser, and Kathryn, who appears to be little miss perfect but also sleeps around and has a coke habit, indulge in Machiavellian schemes to keep themselves amused.

One such scheme ends up back firing: Kathryn asks Sebastian to seduce Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair), Kathryn's ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. Sebastian agrees but soon runs into the virgin Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) and decides to make it his mission to deflower her. They even make a wager: if Sebastian fails, he has to give his 1956 Jaguar to Kathryn, but he wins, he gets to have Kathryn (and to "put it anywhere" he wants). Sebastian finds his goal difficult to attain: As he proceeds he inevitably falls for Annette and is caught between his love for her and the scheming manipulations of his step-sister.

The performances by the lead characters are okay. There is some chemistry between Gellar and Phillippe, and Phillippe and Witherspoon, which makes the movie work. The other actors are mediocre. In particular, Selma Blair gives a listless performance. If you're at all remotely interested in seeing the film, I'd wait for Cruel Intentions to come out on video.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||