I mentioned before that I started writing movie reviews for some website that didn’t exist yet. I don’t feel like emailing the girl in charge because then she will feel like a failure for letting me down. Instead I’m going to post all of the things I wrote for this idea of a website on this blog. My gimmick for the movie reviews was going to be “Movie Reviews for the Antisocial” where I would review movies accessible on Netflix, YouTube, or other places that didn’t involve going out in public. The first one I wrote was for the 1999 film Cruel Intentions. I can’t remember if there are spoilers. Probably, but this movie is as old as people who can consent to sex in some South American countries.
My Review of Cruel Intentions (1999)
When the film Cruel Intentions came out in 1999 I didn’t even know I had a penis. Well, I knew I had one. I just didn’t understand it. Not that I’m some penis expert now. All I am saying is I understand it has more of a purpose than making fellow swimmers scatter from within the swimming pool. Penises can lead to destruction.
This whole penis introduction is important because that is essentially what Cruel Intentions is about. Sebastian, played by a young Ryan Phillippe, is an iconoclast high school student whose father’s fortune has proven to kill off any compassion in his soul. He starts off as a guy who cares more about getting a girl into bed than getting one into his heart. His stepsister Kathryn, played by Sara Michelle Gellar, is not much different. She thinks sex is a game too. Using her assets against her step-brother whom she knows wants to sleep with her, they make a bet with dare I say it, cruel intentions.
The bet comes about when Sebastian discovers the new headmaster at their school’s daughter is a public virgin. When I use the term public virgin I mean she did a whole piece in a magazine about it. These two were the first examples of how outdated this movie already is. Not only do magazines in hardcopy form hardly exist, neither do attractive blonde high school virgins.
This particular sexless member of society is named Annette, played by Reese Witherspoon. Upon reading the article in the magazine, Sebastian tells Kathryn it is his mission to deflower Annette. Kathryn calls his bluff. The two go back and forth for a bit before settling on the bet’s stipulations. If Sebastian cannot get Annette to sleep with him then Kathryn gets his car. If Sebastian does steal away Annette’s innocence then Kathryn has to have sex with Sebastian. Kathryn is also the one who came up with the whole idea of them having sex. When I was younger I used to wish I had a brother. Now that I’m older, I wish Kathryn was my stepsister.
Sebastian sets out on winning Annette over with his phony charm. It doesn’t work because Annette was warned ahead of time to stay away from him. Joshua Jackson plays a gay friend of Sebastian’s and we know he’s gay because he has bleached blonde hair which I guess was the gayest thing a guy could do back in 1999. He helps Sebastian find out who it was that warned Annette about his promiscuous lifestyle and things begin to get a little more Shakespearian.
A web of sex begins to form as Sebastian sleeps with one person to get back at another. This causes Kathryn to sleep with someone else to get back at Sebastian. All the while, Sebastian is slowly actually starting to feel a real connection to Annette. He tries getting rid of her only to realize it is indeed true love and he is no longer the evil young man he was at the start.
Love, betrayal, and disloyalty are common themes in this film’s third act. I guess they’re common throughout, but I like to sound smart when I can point out I know the difference between each act in a film. It is here in the climax of the film Sebastian seeks out some sort of redemption for his putting his penis before the emotions of others. Will he succeed? Fuck you. Find out for yourself.
This film deals with a lot of issues plaguing young people. Who among us cannot say we have not made a bet with a sexy relative that involves having sex with them if we succeed? Actually, this film is difficult to relate to and I’m not just saying that because they use large rotary phones that they constantly slam down with anger. All of the characters are very well-to-do which means it’s okay to hate them all. These snobby children are making problems for themselves because life has given them everything they could ever want. And if you’re like me, you will hate these characters. You will hate them so much you enjoy watching them hurt each other.
From the opening scene of Sebastian driving into New York City while Placebo’s “Every You Every Me” plays in the background to the final scene when The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” cuts in, Cruel Intentions is a film I suggest everyone check out if like me they had no clue about the dangers a penis can cause back when this originally came out.