The Clique
by Phil Boatwright

I came across this PG-rated DVD from 2008 in the video store (can we still call them video stores?). I was looking for new releases and took home a western, a romantic drama, and this one, which I soon discovered was aimed at 12-year-old girls – not, definitely not – at me. (I earned my way that day.) It's kind of a Mean Girls crossed with The Devil Wears Prada, featuring rich, bratty 12-year-olds who live for designer clothing. The story chronicles the petty social life of a gaggle of preteen submissives who do as the boss brat says, including the subsequent belittling of the new, poor girl in school.

I understand that I'm not the intended audience, but I found little redeeming about this production. Yes, lessons are learned by film's end (we shouldn't judge someone by what they wear; be yourself; be nice to others), but it's a long trip to those lessons. While I'm sure the makers are not attempting to promote snootiness, the clothing, the teen-speak and the girls taking charge of those around them may appeal to youngsters who have as yet to completely form their own personalities. I'm afraid they'll pick up more negative directives than uplifting ones.

The expression "Oh My God" is uttered several times and though I'm sure the language of 12-year-old girls who think they are older and more worldly than they really are would curl the hair of many a salty dog, it seemed out of place to hear adolescent females calling each other a "bitch." (They do two or three times.)

DVD Alternative: A lonely 10-year-old, abandoned by her mother and ignored by her grieving minister father, prays for a friend. Soon after, an energetic stray pooch scampers his way into the little girl's heart while she shops for macaroni and cheese at the local Winn Dixie. As the two bond, she finds that they are having a positive effect on the friendless and disenfranchised in her small, rural community.