By Clint Morris
As far as teen comedies go itâ€™s not â€œthe most beautiful of allâ€ but â€œSydney Whiteâ€ leaves a much better taste in your mouth than a poisonous apple, so it canâ€™t all be bad.
Literary classics getting the contemporary rework were all the rage a few years back â€“ there was â€œOâ€, a modern-day version of â€œOthelloâ€; the Shakespeare-inspired teen pic â€œTen Things I Hate About Youâ€; and â€œEmmaâ€-inspired â€œCluelessâ€ â€“ but like a crying baby at night, they seemed to have ultimately quieted down. Until now.
â€œSydney Whiteâ€ could be compared to going to a family Christmas party â€“ doesnâ€™t sound that exciting, and ultimately isnâ€™t that eventful, but thanks to that one â€˜funnyâ€™ and â€˜charmingâ€™ guest it ends up a lot more tolerable than you expected. In this case, the element that perks proceedings is teenage comedienne Amanda Bynes.
Though sheâ€™s yet to really score a major hit, or prove herself outside of fluffy family films, Bynes is always on target in the movies she does do. The girl seems to know her audience â€“ bubble-gum chewing I-pod listening 14-year-old girls â€“ and seems quite content with what sheâ€™s in; her films are what they are and fit nicely into the â€˜if itâ€™s not broke, donâ€™t fix itâ€™ box. But, theyâ€™re not for anyone over the age of 15.
Ms Bynesâ€™ films are usually thinly-written teen comedies with pretty girls, pretty boys, oodles of pop music, cutesy romance and a young spunky lead making cutesy jokesâ€¦ and â€œSydney Whiteâ€ is pretty much the same â€“ except for the â€˜thinly-writtenâ€™ part.
Chad Gomez Creaseyâ€™s â€“ who penned the pic in college â€“ screenplay for â€œSydney Whiteâ€ is actually rather cleverâ€¦ it plonks â€˜Snow Whiteâ€™ or Sydney White (Bynes) into college where she has a run-in with the head of her new fraternity (Sara Paxton) and has no other option but to bunk with the Seven â€˜Dorksâ€™ down the road. Meantime, sheâ€™s being courted by the local Prince Charming (Matt Long of Tvs â€œJack and Bobbyâ€) much to the disgust of Whiteâ€™s nemesis. Thereâ€™s some inspired moments in the film â€“ has obviously thought long and hard about how heâ€™s going to fit in all the â€˜Snow Whiteâ€™ references into the film, but does so, and effectively (The â€˜Hi Hoâ€™ gag is a highlight).
Bynes is her usual bubbly, entertaining-self in â€œSydney Whiteâ€ and quite frankly, with not much else that â€˜specialâ€™ in tow, she is the main ingredient of the pie. Itâ€™s a dish thatâ€™ll undoubtedly be too sugary for some, and too bland for others, but the target market will slurp up â€œSydney Whiteâ€ with a large ladle.
See it before your acne disappears.