Verrückt/Schön – Crazy/Beautiful (2001)

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Verrückt/Schön – Crazy/Beautiful: Directed by John Stockwell. With Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez, Bruce Davison, Herman Osorio. At Pacific Palisades High, a poor Latino falls hard for a troubled girl from an affluent neighborhood.

“I was really pleasantly surprised by this film. It wasnu0026#39;t the usual dumb teen movie. It address some real-world issues from a modern perspective and managed to not make itself look silly doing it. The script was tightly written with just enough edge to give it a sense of reality without it being totally destroyed by itu0026#39;s kiddie rating.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe usual teen movie makes fun of the adult world and laughably tries to make the teens somehow the center of the known universe. This is more real in itu0026#39;s approach, showing two very vulnerable young people on the verge of being thrust into that very real adult world and the issues they have in discovering themselves as near-adults through each otheru0026#39;s eyes. There are quite a few relationships these days that mix cultures and this film handles a realistic look at some of the problems. I think it had to or risk the charge of being unrealistic. Still, there is more here, not just teen romance, though that is certainly painfully portrayed by an emotionally exposed Kirsten Dunst and the serious Jay Hernandez. It is also a film ultimately about the good and evil influences that tug at us all and the effects it can have on those around us. It managed to convey those issues fairly well given the censorship restraints it was under. Adding to a solid performance by Dunst and Hernandez is a fine cast, including Bruce Davidson and a deliciously unlikable Lucinda Jenney doing a great modern take on the evil stepmother. Taryn Manning as Dunstu0026#39;s best girlfriend nearly stole a couple of scenes and certainly bears watching in the future; thereu0026#39;s light behind those big eyes. I see she also had a minor credit in the music score, which was very entertaining on itu0026#39;s own (and this said from an old guy). I also enjoyed the performance of Rolando Molina as Hernandezu0026#39;s brother, though it was nearly too stereotyped. He managed to make it just believable enough to be genuine. My major criticism would be the lack of subtitles for the considerable Spanish dialog. I for one found this too frustrating to forgive.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAll-in-all, itu0026#39;s more than worth the price of admission and I can agree with some other viewers that Dunst might deserve at least a nomination come awards time next year.”


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