Whatever It Takes
Entertainment: +1 1/2
Acceptability: -2

This formula teen picture borrows heavily from CYRANO DE BERGERAC, as Chris (James Franco), a popular high school athlete joins forces with Ryan (Shane West), a more sensitive, intelligent student. Chris has his eye on Ryans neighbor and best friend, Maggie (Marla Sokoloff) while Ryan fixates on Chris cousin, the most popular girl in school, Ashley (Jodi Lyn OKeefe). Ryan helps Chris win Maggies heart while Chris tells Ryan how to get Ashleys attention. But what you want is not always the best choice and whats best is often right under your nose. A romantic comedy aimed at teens, it comes off as a cheap imitation of last years DRIVE ME CRAZY. And cheap imitations rarely last long.

The characters are stereotypical of teen films. The males are either jocks or geeks and the women mostly focused on superficial image. And all seem focused on sex. The only parent in the film, Ryans mom, is the school nurse who lectures on safe sex using a giant model of the male organ. To her credit, she says abstinence is best, then lectures on condom use. With the f-word becoming too common, Hollywood has discovered anatomical terms, particularly for genitals. Almost all the conversations are laced with sexual comments along with numerous vulgarities. Frequent underage drinking is also featured at unchaperoned teen parties. A school maintenance man takes money to let boys sneak into the girls locker room. WHATEVER IT TAKES focuses on teen immorality and insults both teens and audiences alike. Rent the classic CYRANO instead.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Crude Language: Many (28) times - Mild 11, moderate 17
Obscene Language: Many (18) times - S-word 6, other 12
Profanity: Many (14) times - Regular 5 (GD, J, G 3), Exclamatory 9 (OMG 8, OG 1)
Violence: Few times - Mild (teen hit in head by baseball, football tackles, man hit in crotch by baseball, teen kicked in crotch, people fall into swimming pool)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied few times (teens in bed, teen comes out of hotel room with love bites on neck)
Nudity: None; Near Nudity - several times (bikinis, girls in towels, girl in underwear, implied nudity off-camera, male in thong underwear)
Homosexual Conduct: None, but joke about girl on stage being thespian
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Frequent (conversations about sex, boys look at sexual material, girl sucks boys finger, girl suggests boy join her in shower, teens in hotel rooms)
Drug Abuse: Underage drinking by teens
Other: School nurse uses large model of mans organ for safe sex lecture - says abstinence best, maintenance man takes money to let boys into girls locker room, girl vomits on boy, bedpan splashed in nursing home, boy idolizes mischief maker
Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and older

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)