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John Tucker Must Die: Lots of fun

September 29, 2006 13:38 IST

Hell hath no fury like three women who discover that they have been dating the same boy in high school! The man in question -- in the fun film, John Tucker Must Die -- happens to be the most popular guy in school, the much loved John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives).

John is smooth enough to keep the three girls unaware of each other until an unfortunate accident reveals the truth. After a catfight or two, the girls decide to work together for one reason and one reason alone -- revenge.

Enrolled into their plan is the new girl in school, Kate (Brittany Snow, The Pacifier), who has up until that point rued her existence as the 'invisible' girl, one whom no one seems to notice or remember. She's not entirely unattractive but has spent her life in the shadow of her super hot mother (Jenny McCarthy), whose bad dating history has usually been followed by mother and daughter packing up and moving to another town.

Her life changes when she encounters the three heartbroken John Tucker rejects -- overachieving journalism aspirant Carrie (Arielle Kebbel, Gilmore Girls), head cheerleader Heather (singer Ashanti Douglas) and environmentally-conscious free-spirit Beth (Sophia Bush, One Tree Hill).

Kate meekly suggests that they team up to destroy the great John Tucker instead of fighting among themselves. Suddenly from being the biggest nobody in high school, she becomes the co-coordinator of the plot against John Tucker.

A still from John Tucker Must DieThis being a teen comedy, the emphasis is on playful hi-jinks that embarrass the heartbreaker rather than cause him any real harm. From tricking him into posing for a public service announcement about venereal diseases to facilitating his consumption of estrogen-laced energy drinks (that cause him to behave in a girlie fashion at odds with his alpha male status), the girls try (and fail) to bring down the boy who is a god among his peers.

Each supposed reversal causes him to bounce back greater and stronger than ever before until the girls pull out their secret weapon -- a made-over Kate who is pushed onto the frontlines to seduce John so that she can break his heart when he actually falls for her. 

Naturally, since this is a product of Hollywood, there is also the other love interest, in this case the brother aka, 'the other Tucker' played by the relative newcomer Penn Badgley. Between trading teen queen jibes with the 'cute-but-not-John' in chemistry class and working her womanly wiles on John with the aim of breaking his heart, our heroine, Kate, has a full school schedule.

Does the high school Lothario get his just desserts? Is the other Tucker doomed to quietly watch as his brother charms the one girl he also likes? Is revenge really a dish best served cold? If you're hoping to get deep meaningful answers to any of these questions you've definitely walked into the wrong screening room in the wrong multiplex on the wrong continent.

A still from John Tucker Must DieJTMD is a fun little romp that doesn't take itself seriously except while attempting to cash in on the photogenic salability of its stars to the teen and pre-teen demographic. Between the hot blonde Kebbel, sultry brunette Bush and feisty Douglas, the boys are provided with decent options for a fantasy date while the ladies are all supposed to swoon over the crooked smile and sleekly buffed musculature of Jesse Metcalfe on the big screen (if two seasons as Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria's boy toy were not enough).

I suspect though that it is young Mr Badgley who is going to end up winning considerable appreciation along the way for his endearing geeky but cool manner.

This is the movie that was made for that ever widening category/genre called 'time pass.' A tasty enough confection but don't expect any nutritional value.

Rediff Rating:

Elvis D'Silva