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STUDIO: The Weinstein Company
RUNNING TIME: 90 min
- Making Of
Sydney White meets The Usual Supsects
Director: Irvin Rothberg
Writer: Jason Dudek, Samantha Silver
Cinematographer: Joseph M. Setele
Cast: Haylie Duff, Madeline Zima, Monica Lo, Brett Claywell, Kate Albrecht, Jane Sibbett, Donnell Rawlings, Bret Ernst, Tom Green
A fat, unattractive legacy is prepared to join the most popular, glamorous sorority on campus. When she ends up dead, the three most popular girls are the top suspects of the murder.
Over the year’s many films have attempted to be the next Rashomon. Films such as Memento, The Usual Suspects and Ghost Dog have paid homage to the classic Kurosawa film with success. Even animated films took a stab at the form with the 2005 movie Hoodwinked!. If you throw every film that has tried to mimic Rashomon into a barrel, Legacy would be the one scraping the bottom of the pile.
I have never been in a sorority (obviously) but my wife has and she couldn’t comprehend how inaccurate and unrealistic the entire basis of the movie was. I understand the concept is ridiculous but, for it to work, the basic structure of the location needs to be accurate and this movie doesn’t even care enough to research into the dynamics of the Greek system. If the writer and director don’t care enough to research their topic why should anyone else care about their movie?
The film takes place at the sorority house Omega Kappa (OK!), run under the iron fist of über-bitch Lana Stephens (Haylie Duff). Duff is competent in her role but this reminds me of so many better movies. Sara Paxton was magnificent in the same role in the 2007 film Sydney White. Rachel McAdams was perfect in the role of an über-bitch in Mean Girls. Haylie does her best but it is just a pale copy of the bitches that came before.
What makes it worse is she is the best performer in the movie.
Madeline Zima and Monica Lo are Zoey and Mai respectively, the sidekicks of Lana. Mai is a closet lesbian, hiding her girlfriend from her sorority sisters. Zoey used to be a fat girl who now works out numerous times a day and uses sex as a tool to prove her worth. With the exception of a throwaway line in the movie you wouldn’t know all this if not for the making of documentary. I can’t emphasize this enough, if the filmmakers don’t care enough to write a proper script, why should we care?
When the movie starts the three girls are at the police station waiting to be questioned. Lana starts to let us, the viewers, know what happened to lead to this point. A former Omega brings her daughter to the house and explains that if they don’t let the daughter in – and are nice to her – she will make one call and have Lana removed as president since she is a large donor. The problem – her daughter Katie is fat, ugly and wears braces. How original, right?
Katie is played by Kate Albrecht (Entourage) and is actually an attractive girl made ugly. Does this mean she will prove to be a beauty under the glasses and prove everyone wrong? Nope, she is killed and that is where the mystery comes in. It is too bad that the movie can’t give us cops that are realistic or funny. The officers who are tasked with interrogating the girls are Det. Sams and Richards. After we see the entire party to the point where Katie is found dead, we go to the interrogation where each girl fills in the blanks using individual flashbacks. When the officers can’t pin the murder on the girls they have to face their senior detective.
For a movie like this to find distribution it needs to find a star to sell it with. Haylie Duff is not as sellable as her sister so a bigger star was brought in to sell the movie. The big star is Tom Green. That should be enough to tell you how bad this movie is. He plays the senior detective who is so over-the-top, you want him to pull the trigger when he puts a gun to his own head while overreacting.
The direction is horrible and the pacing is poor, leaving no room for tension. This is a murder mystery and there is no doubt who the killer is from the start. There is a red herring added to try to throw the viewer off but it is clear that is not where the movie is going. The writing is horrible and there are so many plot holes strung throughout the movie it rivals the Grand Canyon. The girls claim they hid the body because their house would be shut down because of it. However, the house is not shut down and no reason is given. Katie’s mother makes all kind of threats when she drops off her daughter but once Katie is killed we never hear from or see her mother again. Wouldn’t someone with that much money be bringing the wrath of hell to the house? Instead in the prologue, everyone lives happily ever after. And what happened to Tom Green?
The movie is lightweight fluff that doesn’t even reach the low expectations of the girls it is aimed for (it is Rated R). I have no idea who the target audience was supposed to be. Haylie Duff said the script made her laugh while she read it but none of the laughs transfer to the screen. This movie is an absolute stinker. Avoid at all costs.
The making of was promising, shot by assistant directors in a rough way that made me believe we would get an interesting feature. Then it was over. They interviewed the three main bitches and the director. But it is short and really only slightly interesting. There is also a commentary track by the writer and producers. My wife was proud of herself because she realized early on that Duff was wearing a wig and they make mention of it early on. Most of the commentary talks about the creation of the movie but much of it is just triva.
2.0 out of 10