Uptown Girls has a cute premise that would probably appeal to younger women, but is too bland for anybody. Some of the subject matter is a tad bit mature for younger girls, but the story is too simplistic for older people. It takes two talented actors, Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning, and gives them hollow, one-dimensional roles. Yes, Fanning (Hansel & Gretel, Sweet Home Alabama) can act mature beyond her years, but watching her act like an uptight old woman is not very amusing. Murphy (Just Married, 8 Mile) is currently on some weird trip to prove that she can succeed as a comic actress, but this film is not a good vehicle to pursue this. The story fumbles its way into mediocrity, and everybody and their mom knows how the story is going to turn out as soon as it starts.
Murphy is Molly Gunn, a rock 'n roll wild child, son of a famous rock star who died when she was young. She lives off her parents' money, partying with other stars, spending extravagant amounts, and not caring a whit about anything. That is, until she discovers the money is gone. Now, in order to survive, she needs to change her life. First up is a job, and she takes a position as a nanny to the tyrannical Ray (Fanning). They are exact opposites of each other; Molly is an adult who is acting like a kid, and Ray is a kid acting like an adult. Ray is imperious, deathly afraid of germs, and pretty anal in every other sense.
Right when this becomes clear, Uptown Girls, written by Julia Dahl, Mo Ogrodnik (Ripe), and Lisa Davidowitz, off a story by Allison Jacobs. None of these people have that much experience writing in film, which may explain why everything is so blatantly obvious. Worse, they try to tie the stories together even more. Ray's father is in a coma, and she is trying not to deal with any of these feelings. Ray's mother (Heather Locklear, Double Tap, Money Talks) throws expensive gifts and freedom at her instead of spending time with her. If this continues, it could create one screwed up kid, like, hmmm...Molly. The two have a lot to teach each other. Molly needs to teach Ray how to have fun, and Ray needs to teach Molly responsibility.
There is a pointless subplot involving a rock star (Jesse Spencer) that serves to do nothing except show how annoying the Molly character actually she. She is downright psychotic when it comes to trying to hold onto a guy. The same goes for Ray. Director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, A Price Above Rubies) makes her so bitchy that it turns off the audience. Instead, he should put more thought into Molly's friends, who seem there as window dressing. Marley Shelton (Just a Kiss, Bubble Boy) and Donald Faison (Big Fat Liar, Josie and the Pussycats) are capable of more, but have nothing to do here. Although it tries to be a cute story about the power of girl power and friendship, the two main characters are so annoying that Uptown Girls loses any sense of charm it was trying to go for.
|Haro Rates It: Not That Good.|
|1 hour, 34 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.|
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