Moderately Unpleasant Intentions

Posted on May 19, 2011

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In light of almost all of Tild’s posts, and my own brief flirtation with Red Riding Hood, I’m aware that there’s a serious risk of this blog becoming “That Place Where Our Friends Go To Review Bad Movies.” But guys. Guys. I watched the baddest movie of them all last night, no question. It was so bad that I felt like it was sending me subliminal messages about its own badness. Seriously – the whole time all I could focus on was this voice saying “You will review me now for I am CRUEL INTENTIONS 3 and my powers of being crap are INFINITE.”

Cruel Intentions 3 Poster

That’s right. Cruel Intentions 3, on “7mate” at 9:30pm (and by the way, this new thing of channels being words, instead of numbers and/or acronyms? Hmm).

Firstly, I’m a big fan of the whole Cruel Intentions thing. In fact, I’m such a fan that I even went back and watched the “proper version”, Dangerous Liaisons, and THEN went and read the book on which it was based, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. (As you can see, Cruel Intentions 3 is a bastard child in a long line of bastard children.) But this… it wasn’t “so bad it’s good”, it was just bad. And yet, it had something. An elusive, mysterious something…

The (kind of) original, and the best…

So OK, the plot. Characters show up at some kind of educational institution, and we’re very confused because a) is it a boarding-school or a college? Impossible to tell and b) they seem to know each other already. Although the audience is kept firmly out of the loop regarding the nature and/or location of these previous encounters, we are privileged enough to experienced witty little exchanges such as these:

Unnamed Guy who is the lead but never referred to by name (U.G.): “Looks like we’re going to the same place. Can I get a lift?”

Cassidy Merteuil: “If we drive together, we’ll have to arrive together.”

U.G.: “Come on. Your cousin is Kathryn Merteuil. Let me be your Sebastian.”

Clearly, U.G. and Cassidy know each other, and Cassidy is going to serve as the film’s (tenuous) link to the original. BACKSTORY SORTED, or at least, that’s what the writers must have thought, because literally, that’s all we get.

Cassidy and U.G. being dirty.

In a desperate effort to form some kind of relationship with these characters, I did the whole “Where do I know that actor from” thing. And OMG, U.G. is the same guy who plays Jack on Dawson’s Creek! So from then on, that was U.G.’s backstory: An actor clearly so frustrated at having to play a gay guy for like, six years of his life, that his next career move was to play a nympho. “Hello? Casting agents? I’m not gay. Do not typecast me as Jack from Dawson’s Creek. Please…”

Anyway, hi-jinks ensue. U.G.’s roommate is this guy who pretends to be a nerd, then after about 20 minutes turns out not to be a nerd at all, but a nympho just like U.G.!  What luck! Now they can make fun bets in order to compete with each other, while Cassidy hangs around on the periphery being irrelevant.

Cassidy and Fake Nerd. Yeah, she is wearing that.

The main bet – and as I said, there are several – is to seduce two ‘unavailable’ girls who hang around in the same friendship group as U.G., Fake Nerd and Cassidy. U.G.’s girl has a boyfriend (that’s her character, by the way… girl with boyfriend) and Fake Nerd picks this adorable, innocent girl named Alison, who has a fiancé back home (that’s when I realised it had to be a college, by the way).

Aha! I think. I can see where this is going! A bit old hat, but at least I’m back in my comfort zone…

But no. Alison is NOT Annette No. 3 (for the adventures of Annette No. 2, refer to Cruel Intentions 2). When Fake Nerd declares his Fake Love, she just isn’t interested. So what does Fake Nerd do? He pays someone else to seduce Alison (this time she is oddly compliant), takes photos, and then forces her to have sex with him to stop him sending the photos to her fiancé.

U.G. and Fake Nerd, betting on junk.

All this happens approx. halfway into the movie. And then it just… keeps going. U.G. seduces Girl With Boyfriend. Cassidy and U.G. get together, and are in love. Fake Nerd hangs around, because now it’s his turn to be irrelevant. And through it all I’m like… “Why do I feel like I’m watching a porno?”

Seriously. The whole movie felt like those awkward bits of dialogue that happen in porn before the actors start having sex. And then the schwanky music comes on, they actually start having sex, and… fadeout. If you want a two-line summary of the movie, then that would be it.

About ten minutes before the end, I have this sudden realisation: AAAAAAH. The plot of this movie is that they have to bring down Fake Nerd. And that’s what they do, in a plan which involves unnecessarily belting Cassidy to a bedpost. Poor Cassidy. (She totally went on to have a part in Black Swan though, so I don’t feel too bad for her).

Poor Cassidy ends up looking like a bit of a slut in all these pictures, huh?

So that’s it. Very weird movie. I didn’t regret seeing it, exactly – as I said, it had a certain special something. Probably nothing more than my nostalgia for the days when Cruel Intentions was on TV five times a year and I wasn’t weirded out by Buffy pretending to be a brunette, but who knows.

The closest we could find to a trailer for this film online when we were editing was this fan-made one. This movie doesn’t even have a trailer, yo! 

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Posted in: Classics, Movies