Review: “Jawbreaker”

The cult 80’s film “Heathers” combined murder, black humour and high school – with a resulting film which a few people love but most can see some pretty big flaws in. The humour is weak and its black, VERY black giving it a limited appeal.

Cut to 1999 and we have “Jawbreaker”, best described as “Clueless” meets “Heathers” but not up to the level of either of those movies. “Clueless” had some humour and good acting, and while “Heathers” had its flaws it was at least an original effort and the humour was edgy.

“Jawbreaker” is a movie which takes a decent concept for a black comedy and sadly fails to utilise it at all – resulting in one of the weakest films of the year. The story is extremely simple and predictable, the dialogue is unrealistic and dull, the humour is almost non-existant, and the ‘dark’ edge is tame enough for a PG-13 rated flick.

The acting doesn’t fare much better, most of the cast walking their way through forgettable roles. Rose McGowan made a name for herself as the sassy chick who got all the best lines in “Scream”, here she’s in a similar but more evil-intentioned role of a ruthless girl determined to become prom queen. the character though is hardly explored beyond that, so we’re not really rooting for or against her as we don’t know her motivations.

McGowan’s natural charisma helps turn a totally flat role into a watchable but uninteresting one. Most of the other girls and guys do fine, Pam Grier just screams cool walking into a room – pity she’s only got about 5 minutes of screen time. Marilyn Manson’s cameo is brief but funny, Brian Warner (Manson’s real name) almost unrecognisable without the makeup.

Unless you like teen comedies, steer clear of this with a ten foot pole. If you do though, I’d suggest only going if your a fan of one of the actors. Teen flicks are at about a 20% hit/80% miss ratio at the moment – and this is definitely a miss. If you must see a teen flick, save your cash and see the far superior “Cruel Intentions” instead.