Sydney White
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Amanda Bynes, Matt Long, Sara Paxton. Comedy. Written by Chad Creasey. Directed by Joe Nussbaum.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In this college comedy that puts a modern-day twist on an age-old storybook tale, Sydney White tells a tale of a tomboy freshman (Bynes) who ditches her conniving sorority sisters and finds a new home with a group of dorky outcasts. Fed up with the way theyve all been treated, shes off to war against the reigning campus queen (Paxton).

PREVIEW REVIEW: Innocuous and overly familiar, yet enjoyable due to Amanda Bynes. A veteran of TV and film, the young actress knows how to apply timing and toning to a comic line much the way a good singer shades a note. She looks like a cute chipmunk and radiates a quality that could only be perceived as and I mean this in the nicest way nice.

Trashed by the evil sorority sister, Rachel Witchburn, our plucky Ms. White moves into the dilapidated cottage just down the street, where seven male outcasts from the school geeks all live in harmony. Theyre her pals, but she has a crush on the handsome Tyler Prince. You see where this is going, right? Its Sydney White and the Seven Dorks. Now, the more cynical among us might call the concept and its subsequent handling insipid and shallow, but I think girls between the ages of pubescence and high school entrance will enjoy the themes fitting in, being yourself, and witches never win.

Its interesting, however, that while the filmmakers seem to be aiming this production at preteen girls with its non-threatening presentation of college life, todays take concerning whats acceptable language and behavior is far more lax than when Gidget frolicked on the beach with Moondoggie. Today, the term pissed off is no longer considered objectionable parlance for the good-girl lead, beer-chugging is depicted without consequence, and to be truly open-minded means to not only embrace the gay lifestyle, but the transdressers subculture, as well.

The film is rated PG-13, the studio evidently believing that Ms. Bynes fans are now of an age capable of handling the leering presence of the camera (this cameraman never met a short skirt he didnt like) and open-minded enough to consider transdressers as everyday folks.

Suggested DVD Alternatives: Joan of Arc. The 1999 TV presentation about the French martyr starring Leelee Sobieski, Neil Patrick Harris, Jacqueline Bisset, Peter OToole, and Peter Strauss is entertaining, educational, and uplifting.

Or:

For those looking for a bit more substance, Beauty and the Beast (1946 French version with Jean Cocteau). In order to save her father, a beautiful girl agrees to live with a feared wolf-like beast. But after time passes, they learn to love one another. This moody, atmospheric B&W rendition of the classic tale is a masterpiece. In French, with subtitles, it is both beguiling and fanciful.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Universal

Summary
Crude Language: There are a couple of crude and suggestive sexual comments, mostly by nerds who have never even gone out with a girl; one flatulence joke.
Obscene Language: There are a half-dozen minor expletives, plus the expression ho is used on two occasions as a put-down of un-liked girls. There is some name-calling, but generally, the scriptwriter avoids most objectionable language. That said, the lead does use a couple of expressions such as pissed off to communicate frustration.
Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name.
Violence: here are a couple of slapstick situations, but no rough violence.
Sexual Intercourse: One tame sexual situation, and one implied situation, played for laughs.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: Though there are no gay situations, the lead supports the campus gay community, wanting them to have a voice.
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: One of the seven dorks is seen chugging beer at a college party. We later learn that he is of age, but seeing how much beer you can chug while standing on your head is applauded in the film.
Other: None
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens and Up

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