Uptown Girls (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/03/2004

One out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Dismal excuse for a comedy with absolutely no redeeming features. Flee! Flee! In terror from the badness! Etc.

There’s definitely something about Brittany Murphy. She has a kind of kooky charm that’s hard to pin down but which has served her well in films such as Sidewalks of New York, Girl Interrupted and 8 Mile. Unfortunately, it completely deserts her here and the result is an almost unwatchable mess.

Professional Party Girl

Murphy plays professional party girl Molly Gunn, the daughter of a late rock star. However, when her accountant absconds with the family fortune, she suddenly finds herself homeless and broke, so she’s forced to become nanny to precocious eight year old Ray (Dakota Fanning).

Molly has never had to act responsibly before and Ray is “8 going on 40” and a germ-obsessed control freak, so, as the tag-line helpfully informs us “they have to teach each other to act their age”. And if you think that sounds bad, well, it’s worse.

The main problem is that both central characters are in dire need of a good slap. Murphy’s character is badly written – she doesn’t appreciate her friends (also under-served by the appalling script) and she behaves like a complete psycho around her “rock and roll poet sex god” would-be boyfriend Neal (Jesse Spencer), although he does at least provide the film with its only laugh (albeit unintentional) when he releases a music video for a song called “Sheets of Egyptian Cotton”.

Atrocious Script

Murphy does her best, but the atrocious script does her no favours. Similarly, Fanning, who was so impossibly cute in I Am Sam, isn’t allowed to shine – she doesn’t even have a scene where she eventually softens and becomes ‘normal’.

The film also just expects you to buy the ending where her ‘rock manager bitch mother’ (Heather Locklear, typecast again) suddenly comes around after a bit of a talking to from Murphy. Basically, none of the relationships ring true throughout the film and it lacks any semblance of either warmth or genuine humour.

In short, this is a very, very bad film indeed. Poorly written, badly directed and featuring two lacklustre, unlikeable performances from actors who are capable of better. Avoid, with extreme prejudice.

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Uptown Girls (12A)
Uptown Girls has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 01:48

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