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Overall Rating

Awesome: 19.3%
Worth A Look: 5.26%
Average: 14.04%
Pretty Bad: 28.07%
Total Crap33.33%

4 reviews, 33 user ratings

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Uptown Girls
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by Scott Weinberg

"The Battle of the Spoiled Rotten"
2 stars

A generally dreary and formulaic after-school special masquerading as a feature film, Boaz Yakin's Uptown Girls features two fairly impressive acting performances...and basically nothing else at all. For a comedy, it's surprisingly laugh-free and for an oh-so-message-laden tale of spoiled-gal redemption, it's irritatingly sincerity-free.

Take one obnoxiously decadent daughter of a dead rock star and one precociously grown-up little girl, stick 'em both in the same room, and watch the life-lessons flow like sap. That's pretty much it, unless you count a few throwaway walk-on moments from Heather Locklear and Marley Shelton as worthy of your eight bucks. (I do not.)

Brittany Murphy (charming in every film she appeared in...up until she became seen as "profitable" by the Hollywood suits) plays Molly Gunn, an astonishingly shallow and selfish rich girl who finds herself close to skid row when she loses her massive inheritance.

Forcibly re-introduced into the world of "work", Molly ends up as nanny to one of those ridiculously serious kids that you never see outside of movies. Little "Ray" (the adorable Dakota Fanning) is a walking collection of germ phobias and disgruntled sighs, thereby creating the Mature vs. Immature concept that runs for the next 90-some minutes.

The twist here is supposed to be that the "adult" is childish, while the child is "miserable". Stop me when this starts to sound interesting.

Due mainly to the fact that both protagonists never come close to resembling a realistic human being, the drama leaves much to be desired. Molly is instantly and consistently unlikable; Ray is wholly fabricated and false in that tired old "little kid talking smart" style that screenwriters apparently love to employ.

In an effort to infuse some humor into the proceedings, Molly is made to be a klutz. So in between all the maudlin goings-on, we often see the gal fall down or get hit with a door. Uptown Girls lurches to its wholly predictable conclusion with impressive resolve, as if the flick cannot wait to see itself end.

Cast adrift by the paint-by-numbers screenplay are two young actresses who deserve much better material than this. Before she started making money in films like 8 Mile and Just Married, Brittany Murphy had built up an impressive collection of credits (most notably in Girl Interrupted and Riding in Cars With Boys) only to find herself turning into yet another bland little actor. What this gal needs is a meaty role with some dimension to it, and not warmed-up feel-good pap like Uptown Girls. Little Dakota Fanning turned in the only non-nauseating performance in the entirely despicable I am Sam, and the lovable 9-year-old manages a few solid moments this time around as well. Sadly it takes a lot more than two hard-working actresses to salvage a screenplay this trite, tired and tiresome.

Coated with a sort of "Disney Live-Action" sheen, but liberally laden with periodic profanity and none-too-subtle sex jokes, "Uptown Girls" is really sort of a mystery. Is it a flick for moms and their 10-year old daughters? Or is it something that a gaggle of 15-year-old girls will flock to see? My bet is neither, and regardless of who does end up in the theater unspooling this wearisome concoction - I doubt they'll have much of anything nice to say when it's all done.

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originally posted: 08/15/03 14:40:05
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User Comments

2/21/11 art DAKOTA is really a MINI-ME CLONE of BRITANY! 1 stars
5/27/06 sachin manseta 5 stars
5/10/06 Jenna It was a good movie 5 stars
3/22/06 Katie<3 This movies was amazing. i absolutely ADORED it. whoever says its bad doesn't know anything 5 stars
9/21/05 Jonathon Holmes Dakota's the only bright spot of the sad-sack party 1 stars
7/22/05 ali aas 1 stars
3/06/05 ashley humphrey none 4 stars
1/29/05 blueviolet I was expecting a fun movie but it was depressing and bummed me out 3 stars
1/24/05 ASHA COOPER it suck's bad 1 stars
7/07/04 ali ali 5 stars
3/27/04 Nicole Aww this movies so cute.. birtneys a good actress to! 5 stars sexi mammi! 5 stars
3/23/04 Danielle THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER!!! 5 stars
2/22/04 carrie Pretty cute movie...would see again! 4 stars
2/15/04 Jingo P. Murphytalent rates somewhere with the left testicle of a wildebeast. 1 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Awful performances and unfunny screenplay; one of the worst of 2003. 1 stars
1/10/04 Me This is a great movie. It is worth seeing. 5 stars
1/08/04 KICK ASS OR DONT COME HOME! those 2 are like micheal jackson and peter pan,just hideous!!!! 2 stars
12/02/03 Chris We all know what to expect by the poster (chick flick) but it's a good one. 4 stars
11/10/03 Rhonda Blankenship Annoying for a while, then threatens to end repeatedly, before real (supposedly happy) end 3 stars
11/09/03 Allison O'Silla Another stinkin' BM movie. When'll BM learn what makes for good flicks? 2 stars
11/07/03 Green Beret Packers Brittany Murphy must've done this film to make JUST MARRIED look comparatively good. 1 stars
9/28/03 Willow Rosenberg I fucking LOVED this movie! Brittany Murphy is awesome. 5 stars
9/23/03 Torrey Dixson It was great I want to meet dakota and be like her. 5 stars
8/31/03 Alice 1 stars
8/30/03 your worst goddamn nightmare this movie sucked ass, but i snuggled to a gorgeous girl so i'll give it an extra point! 2 stars
8/29/03 Mack Intosh Holy mother of god, does this movie STINK! 1 stars
8/26/03 Chrys come on people. help get rid of fucking nauseating precocious kids, a la fanning. 1 stars
8/22/03 johnny brittany needs to eat a carrot 1 stars
8/20/03 Arianna great full of exitment 5 stars
8/18/03 MEEE great fun 5 stars
8/16/03 Jin Murphy is rotten and her cutesy routine is so played... 1 stars
8/15/03 Atanu Nauseating kid. Fanning should be banned from the industry. 1 stars
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  15-Aug-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2004



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