out of Five
Running time: 97
Below average teen movie aimed squarely at young girls, although it just about stays watchable thanks to its likeable stars.
What's it all about?
With this oh-so-fluffy teen movie, the Duff Twins are staking out territory previously occupied by the Olsen Twins. Let's hope someone decides to put all four of them in a movie and have them fight it out amongst themselves.
Anyway, the Duff Twins (pretty Hilary and not-so-pretty Haylie) play wealthy cosmetics heiresses Tanzie and Ava Marchetta, who are suddenly stripped of their wealth after a scandal hits their make-up products.
Faced with a life of (gasp!) taking the bus and living like normal people, the girls turn detective in an attempt to clear their names, aided by a cute company chemist (Marcus Coloma) and a slightly less attractive legal aid lawyer (Lukas Haas).
Fortunately, the girls have a natural chemistry and they keep things just about watchable with likable performances. They're also fortunate to have Angelica Huston (does she need the money that badly?) and Lukas Haas in support, both of whom give better performances than the film deserves.
The biggest problem with Material Girls is that whilst the script has a semi-decent plot (relatively speaking), it neglects to provide any actual laughs and the so-called comedy scenes fall horribly flat. It also misses the opportunity to poke more fun at the Paris Hiltons of this world – the girls are nice to begin with so there's no element of redemption or character growth.
As the CEO of their company, Brent Spiner (Star Trek:TNG) spends the entire movie with a slightly panicked look in his eyes, as if realising that it's just a short step from Material Girls to career oblivion. In addition, Haylie's weird nose frequently proves more fascinating than what she's actually saying.
Watchable enough and by no means as bad as Hilary's previous film (The Perfect Man), although there's not much here that'll interest the over-12s.
Material Girls (PG)