SUGAR & SPICE directed by Francine McDougall, written by Mandy Nelson, produced by Wendy Finerman, with Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton, Melissa George and Mena Suvari. 81 minutes. A New Line Cinema release, though Alliance. Opens Friday (January 26). NN Rating: NN
reservoir dogs meets bring it On as a group of strapped-for-cash cheerleaders decide to pull a bank job. Unfortunately, Sugar & Spice isn't nearly as good as that synopsis makes it sound.Set in some never-never land suburb, the film feels derived from 70s television, though not in any direct, Brady Bunch sense. It's just that everything is shiny-clean and everyone is so white. There are no bitter geeks in the high school who hate the cheerleaders -- indeed, their bitterest enemy is Marla Sokoloff's Lisa, who's on the cheerleading "B" squad.
Director Francine McDougall is an Australian, and her take on American teen life is too vague to function as satire.
There are occasional funny moments, almost all of which can be seen in the trailer, and the young cast has a certain degree of charm, but the bar is usually set much higher than this for any sort of teen movie. It makes Save The Last Dance look like grand cinema, to say nothing of Election, 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On, all of which are more sharply observed and better acted.
Early candidate for worst film of the year.