Cruel Intentions ★★★½

"Dr. King is my favorite" - Cecile Caldwell,

- Scavenger Hunt #62 (7/31):
"Watch a film referenced in the film Not Another Teen Movie"

This is so much more than that move where Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair make out... but yeah that happens too.

From what I can tell I've seen every film referenced in Not Another Teen Movie so I decided to rewatch Cruel Intentions because I haven't seen this since 1999 in the theaters when I thought it was one of the best things that I have ever seen. I hadn't really seen much in the way of teens behaving badly at that point in my life so the film was thrilling and provocative and did things mainstream theater films didn't do at that time. I loved how cruel the intentions were and it turns out I still do.

I love movies about dramatic bad people so cruel intentions latched onto me and refused to let go. I think what I enjoy about this movie most is the fucked up chemistry between Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The two of them seem to live to screw with people and their minds and bring a real joy to the misery of the film. Selma Blair and Reese Witherspoon are also perfect as the nice virginal souls that get corrupted by the two leads.

There is a faux-sophistication to Cruel Intentions that is fully complimented by the great cast, it feels like a film that should take place in the 1950s. In order to like this film you have to accept a great deal of psychological torture being placed on young people but done in such a melodramatic way that it hardly seems real. This feels like the best high school play ever, placed on the big screen. It's an interesting film about the limits of cruelty and the possibilities for redemption. It's also got a sweet soundtrack and is fun as fuck.


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