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Overall Rating
3.34

Awesome: 22.73%
Worth A Look38.64%
Average: 4.55%
Pretty Bad: 18.18%
Total Crap: 15.91%

5 reviews, 14 user ratings



All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
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by brianorndorf

"All the boys (and girls) need a new script"
1 stars

Teenagers. They do the darnedest things. Shot four years ago, “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” has been trapped in theatrical release stasis and it’s pretty easy to see why: the picture is dreadful. Cluttered with obnoxious CW-scented teen characterizations, cartoonish parades of clumsy adolescent lust, and fruitless stabs of suspense, “Mandy Lane” is a rotten idea all around, sluggishly executed by director Jonathan Levine, who went on to infuse his dismal 2008 feature “The Wackness” with the same hot flashes of irritatingly exaggerated behaviors and self-conscious filmmaking accouterments.

Returning to her junior year of high school, Mandy Lane (Amber Heard, “Pineapple Express”) has blossomed into a gorgeous young woman, leaving the majority of the student body in heat when she walks by. Abandoning her nerdy male best friend for a popular clique, Mandy is ushered into a world of promiscuity, drugs, and jealousies that force her to fight to preserve her virginal purity. Off on a party weekend to a remote farm, Mandy and her boorish friends encounter a series of strange occurrences and disappearances, with a suspicious ranch hand (Anson Mount) keeping an eye on the group from afar. Still wallowing in the chemical excess, the teens find a stranger picking them off one-by-one in the night, leaving Mandy to process the panic and plan her escape.

Though crafted with a customary slasher film mentality, “Mandy Lane” is more captivated with the rice paper psychology of its nauseating characters. This being Levine’s first feature film, there’s an aggravatingly permissive behavior with the cast on display. Levine relies on these brutal acting novices to convey an impression of juvenile excess and teen superiority, using long takes of the cast feeling around the dialogue to sniff out their own sense of reality to the scene. Trouble is, nobody here can act, and the loose atmosphere encourages the ensemble to demand shadings that aren’t there. Screenwriter Jacob Foreman is more interested in beating this teen shallowness into the ground instead of intricately tying interior discontent to the squeeze of peer pressure. The dialogue is often contrived and bellowed like a sitcom, treating the characters like cartoons to make obvious points.

Visually, “Mandy Lane” fares somewhat better. Cinematographer Darren Genet goes for a blown-out scorching summertime look that recalls “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” though Levine does his best to ruin the effect through hacky editorial and framing decisions. “Mandy Lane” looks superb at times, easily besting the content. Perhaps it’s a film best viewed on mute.

Of course, with a low-budget, an abysmal cast, and a first time filmmaker, there’s going to be a twist to the material. Levine reveals his cards early on, ruining the surprise to a certain extent, rendering the actual running time a long countdown to a foregone conclusion. However, scares and depth seem to come secondary on Levine’s list of priorities with “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.” More interested in ogling Heard, providing a forum for miserable screenwriting, and testing out overused visual decoration, Levine never challenges the genre, instead resting contentedly on a cinematic endeavor we’ve all seen a thousand times before.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14897&reviewer=404
originally posted: 06/19/09 23:34:41
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2006 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 Fantasia Film Festiva For more in the 2008 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival For more in the 1st Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Stanley Film Festival For more in the 2013 Stanley Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/24/13 Molly I enjoyed it quite thoroughly. I liked the way it was filmed especially. 4 stars
11/21/10 Ryan One Of The Best Slasher Horrors I Have Ever Seen! It's Smart, It's Funny, It's Brilliant! 5 stars
7/20/09 Kazelwws Hi webmaster! lpy 4 stars
3/13/09 vxtq OK, but nothing to write home about. It takes to long to go anywhere 3 stars
2/22/09 Harold Parker This movie sucked ! Don't waste your time and money. Horribly shot. 1 stars
2/12/09 MP Bartley Dull for most parts. The ending is interesting but silly when you think too hard about it. 2 stars
2/11/09 DK Well made, well shot and with more intelligence than average slasher 4 stars
9/12/08 DW Smith And I was so looking forward to it. 3 stars
8/06/08 E K Zimmerman Meh - below average teen horror junk. 2 stars
7/12/08 Laura Lots of fun.....smart too! 5 stars
10/01/06 duder saw in toronto at the fest. loved it. 4 stars
9/15/06 Emmet It f-ing killed. awesome. 5 stars
9/14/06 Carl Smart, funny and scary! Best slasher flick since Scream. 5 stars
9/13/06 Edward Connell A must see movie spectacular 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Oct-2013 (R)
  DVD: 03-Dec-2013

UK
  15-Feb-2008 (18)

Australia
  05-Mar-2009 (MA)


Directed by
  Jonathan Levine

Written by
  Jacob Forman

Cast
  Amber Heard
  Anson Mount
  Michael Welch
  Aaron Himelstein
  Edwin Hodge
  Whitney Able



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