In the spirit of “I wouldn’t pay to see it in a theater, or even rent it as a DVD, but it was on Showtime on-demand,” I gave the movie Uptown Girls a try last night/this morning.
Roger Ebert often writes in reviews about movies with characters who deserve better than the cookie-cutter screenplay they’re forced into, and that’s the case here. Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning have some charming moments together, but their transitions are unmotivated; occuring only because it’s that page number in the screenplay.
And any time the film tries to deal with any other relationships… well, let me put it this way. There’s a character in this movie who is supposed to be Brittany Murphy’s best friend. We know this because they keep telling each other so.
“I’m your best friend! Why would I ever let you down?”
“You know, as your best friend, it’s my responsibility to…”
Yet I tell you there is not a single moment in the entire film that made me think these women even liked each other. Which, speaking as someone who’s written a couple of things about friends and friendships, I hope an audience will at least get the feeling my characters do…
Weirdest of all the director, Boaz Yakin, seems to have had some sort of bizarre fetish. On at least three occasions in this movie (including the obligitory rich-girl-who’s-never-done-laundry-in-her-life-goes-to-the-laundromat-and-makes-a-mess-of-things scene), they make a point of showing us Murphy taking off her underpants. You know, the reach-under-her-dress (or long shirt) thing, so nothing is exposed to camera, but we know she’s “going commando.” Ooh, sexy.
Lord knows I have no objections to the thought of Murphy walking around bare-assed (even less so after this movie–she really is very attractive) but three times? Even in a PG-13 movie?