I'm not one for book-learning and old French novels, but I bet no matter how boring it is, or how many pages it has, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" is a shitload more entertaining than "Cruel Intentions", its piss-poor teenage adaptation. It would have to be about shoe repair not to be.
Ryan Pillippe is Sebastian Valmont, an impossibly rich playboy teen asshole living in Manhattan. He is bored with fucking every girl he wants and seeks a new challenge. His slutty, cold-ass step-sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who will do anything to keep her image pure, has been jilted and wants to get even with the jilter. So, she devises an incredibly complex scheme that requires Phillippe to deflower many virgins. In exchange for his successful dick plunging, Phillippe will get to fuck Gellar. Well, Phillippe is at first bored even by that prospect, until Gellar promises "you can put it anywhere" (yes, she really says that). Only then does Phillippe agree. However, if he fails to deflower all the virgins on the list, Gellar gets his beloved Jaguar.
In summary, the movie is about a guy who will screw a bunch of girls so that his step-sister will let him butt-fuck her. It must be about butt-fucking because the original offer of straight sex didn't interest Phillippe, and I doubt he'd be getting a boner at the chance to plant his wiener in her ear, nose, or even mouth.
Phillippe goes about his sexual predator behavior, but falls in love with one of the big-boned virgins, played by Reese Witherspoon. All he wants is to be with her. But, a jealous Gellar convinces him that he isn't worthy of her, and he agrees. So, he breaks it off with her, then changes his mind and throws himself in front of a car in an effort to win her back. He dies, which was a nice treat. But, Witherspoon gets even with Gellar by releasing Phillippe's secret diary, so everyone can see how slutty she is and her pure reputaiton is ruined.
Does it all sound lamer than an episode of "Dynasty"? It should. "Cruel Intentions" follows the basic outline of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" pretty closely, but that old French shit just doesn't translate. The whole movie is about people trying to preserve their reputations, like anyone gives a shit. This isn't 18th century France, and reputations are a dime a dozen.
The first half of the movie was almost entertaining, when ugly, pouty teenagers acted out scenes from bad porn movies. There was a lesbian, stringy-saliva kiss between Gellar and her friend, after the friend confessed she didn't know how to kiss, and Gellar offered to show her. We get Gellar saying, as she dry humps Phillippe, "I hate it when I don't get my way. It makes me so... horny." Phillippe blackmails many people into pleading the trite (and convenient to the plot) "I'll do anything." Phillippe seduces a girl by asking her to pose for photos. Of course, these scenes would have been more entertaining if the actors in them knew they were cheesy. But because the teens are such stiff, serious dumbshits, they try to make us believe this crap. As a result, it all comes across as awkward as the time I caught my brother wearing pantyhose.
In a porn movie, set-ups like the above are there to give the stars a reason to strip and hump, lick and suck. Porno makers aren't trying to advance the story. In "Cruel Intentions" the moronic writer/director Roger Kumble actually uses this shit to service the plot, and without the decency to show us any sex or nudity (well, except for a soft-focus romantic screwing and a naked butt). It's all less sexy than the March issue of "Good Housekeeping".
A nice thing about this movie is that if you see it, you can skip "The Other Sister." One minor character is (amateurishly) portrayed as so incredibly inept, naïve and stupid that when Phillippe fucks her you get your yearly requirement of retard sex.
The second half of the movie is just plain unwatchable. The cheesiness fades into seriousness and everyone mopes around. It has the effect of a loser ex-girlfriend that keeps calling to tell you how miserable she is: it makes her even more unlikable.
"Cruel Intentions" wants to be a forbidden treat. "Fuck" is said often, and always with intent of shocking us. Well, I wasn't shocked. I was disappointed with the uncreative use. My guess is that Director Kumble is a virgin, judging from his ability to understand and portray sexiness. Masturbating with a can of Stagg chili would be more arousing than this shit.
Because Phillippe has fallen in love, we are supposed to forget what an asshole he is and hope he gets his girl. You know what? Where I live, assholes fall in love every day. They fall in love, they get tattoos, they get involved in domestic violence, they have kids, and they become alcoholics. They're still assholes. And I'm not rooting for them because they fell in love. All I'm praying is that they stop puking in my mail box on their way back from the "No Excuses" sports bar.
Phillippe has dazzled me with his sub-zero talent in three movies. He can pout, and that's about it. He plays Valmont as though Valmont were a flamboyant gay, and that makes it hard to believe he is a junior ladies' man. He uses big words, is obsessed with sunglasses, has an effeminate voice and wears cute, tight little suits. He's like Little Lord Fauntleroy on Viagra.
I have no doubt Gellar is a bitch, but not the one she plays in this movie. She's just plain unpleasant and not in the scheming
Witherspoon wears clothes that do not flatter her generous serving of hips. She looks like a minotaur. As an actress, she does a fantastic job of bringing the one-dimensional , cardboard goody-two-shoes in Kumble's script to life, as a walking, talking, pouting, one-dimensional , cardboard goody-two-shoes.
"Cruel Intentions" is substandard, two-finger Hollywood
mishmash. To find out how the subject matter would have looked
in expert hands, rent or buy "Butt Slut Academy" at
a reputable adult video store near you.