Is it just me, or have we had entirely too many cheerleader movies lately? From Kevin Spacey”s nymphet cheerleader in “American Beauty” to this summer”s “Bring it On” I thought Hollywood had gone as far as it could with this genre. I was wrong.
The main character in “Sugar and Spice” is Diane Weston (Marley Shelton). A Barbie doll perfect girl who starts off every morning saying into her mirror “these are the best days of your life, so far.” It doesn”t take long for Barbie to meet her Ken in Jack (James Marsden), the new football hero, and the two fall madly in love. The night of their homecoming dance, the couple announce to their parents that they are a) getting married and b) pregnant. The latter being the major cause for concern.
The two get kicked out of their respective homes and have to fend for themselves. It doesn”t take long for Diane to realize that her life is going downhill. So, with the help of her fellow cheerleaders, the six girls execute their plan of robbing a bank. By the time “Sugar and Spice” even begins, all of this has already happened. The movie is told entirely in flashback form from the perspective of Lisa (Marla Sokoloff), a bitter cheerleader who has never been able to make it onto the A squad.
“Sugar and Spice” knows it is a stupid movie. It doesn”t try to hide it and instead flaunts it in our faces. The movie starts out very generically with pictures of all the girls and one-liners like “the rebel,” “the virgin,” and “the brain” underneath their names representing, I suppose, their one-dimensional character traits.
To give “Sugar and Spice” some credit, it does manage to pull of some very “Clueless”-like dialogue, that is, at times, both witty and quite funny. There is a hilarious scene where all the girls are fighting with each other over the stress of robbing a bank and Diane finally tries to call the whole thing off with a commentary about how “we”re not acting like cheerleaders, we”re acting like sorority girls.”
I felt like the audience the writers had in mind to enjoy “Sugar and Spice” was a college aged crowd. It included jokes about Madonna (we”re talking “Like a Virgin” Madonna), references to staple movies like “Point Break” (Keanu, post-“Bill and Ted” but pre-“Matrix”) and even a plug for a childhood classic “The Apple Dumpling Gang.”
I fear that so many of these good jokes will be lost on the majority of youngsters that will actually want to go see this movie. They probably won”t even know who Madonna is considering their main idles today are Britney and Christina.
Overall “Sugar and Spice” was a mediocre movie that was definitely smarter than it first appeared but far from being the next “Clueless.”