Plot: Tomboy Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) heads off to college to join her deceased mother’s sorority. After she goes through rush, Sydney is kicked out of the sorority by the stuck-up house president Rachel (Sara Paxton). Once banished, she’s taken in by seven outcasts and attempts to reclaim the campus for all the outsiders.
Who’s it for: Even though it’s a film about a college girl and should normally appeal to the college/high school crowd, I think this film is actually for middle school girls.
Expectations: I’ve enjoyed “She’s All That,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Bring it On” and many others in the genre, so I was hopeful.
Amanda Bynes as Sydney White: She’s a vaudevillian actress … and this isn’t a compliment. She comes from the product of the Nickelodeon/Disney school of acting, where everything is over-pronounced. It barely works in “Hairspray.” Anything set close to reality just doesn’t hold up.
Sara Paxton as Rachel: This is a poor-woman’s Regina George (Rachel McAdams from “Mean Girls”). Rachel is never evil enough, but she has annoying down pat. Her way to calm down is to say name brands over and over. And it seems the only reason Rachel initially hates Sydney is because of a normal conversation between Sydney and Tyler.
Matt Long as Tyler: Wow. He’s dreamy. And so over-the-top perfect that it becomes a joke. Any fraternity guy who loves to work in a food shelter, hang out with outcasts and kiss a girl awake has to be quickly adored by teenage girls everywhere … but not me.
Talking: My hunch is the screenwriter of this film falls into the category of a popular kid. So when it comes to the nerds and a couple of good lines of dialogue, I’m convinced he got someone else to do it. Wow, just looked up the bio of Chad Creasey (the writer) and apparently he had a small hand in “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” I’m very confused right now.
Sights and sounds: Giving Sydney a makeover for her big night doesn’t really make sense because everyone already thinks she’s attractive. And any time “Sydney White” wants you to feel sad, there is a picture of her dead mother somewhere close by.
Best Scene: Actually it’s just one line. “Hi, hoe” is said to Rachel as our seven outcasts pass her by. It was two seconds, and I enjoyed it.
Ending: I can’t remember a time at college that the elections were a popularity contest. It’s so unrealistic (complete with commercial advertising) that it makes you question whether or not anyone associated with the film has been on a college campus.
Random Thoughts: You like stereotypes? Don’t worry, “Sydney White” has almost all of them, which include Hasidic Jews, a Southern belle, nerds, evil sorority sisters, BMOC (big man on campus) and a guy who can’t even tie his shoes and has some sort of mental deficiency that would clearly prevent him from getting into college, let alone getting out of elementary school. ARGH.
Rewatchability: If I see it again, the words, “Dude, you have to see how bad this movie is …” will come before I hit play.
Supposedly this is a modern-day retelling of “Snow White,” but I didn’t see that. Instead, this is an awful remake of “Revenge of the Nerds,” with a stolen ending complete with everyone admitting they’re a dork. Sydney helps a group of geeks with the most mundane tasks, such as tying shoes, and waking up and there isn’t one ounce of believability in the journey. “Sydney White” is awful … and very entertaining. I laughed out loud at the most obvious of plot moves and horrendous acting. Laughing at this movie is the only way to get through it, but save it for DVD so you openly remark to your friends about the atrocity you are watching … except if you are a teenage girl, and then this just might be your favorite movie of the year.
Overall Grade: 3