JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE

on

2006

6/10

DIRECTOR: Betty Thomas

This was a solid teen comedy and though highly derivative, was quite enjoyable, offering up a few humourous moments and a light mood throughout. Some reviews at the time suggested that there was an incongruity between the studio’s intentions for the film to be dark and edgy and that it had failed. But since this was far from my interpretation of the plot and tone, if this was failure, it was so bad that it had become something else, lighter and more fun and that was the film that I had watched.

The plot is simple: John Tucker is a cad and the most popular lad at school but is caught out dating three girls at once, all of which want revenge. A fourth finds herself in the middle and inspires the trio to pursue their vengeance by discrediting the school’s hero.

By derivative, I mean this film harks back to so many revenge films its unreal, but the too that spring to mind are Mean Girls, though I felt that, that offered more of a message than Tucker, and 70’s classic, 9 To 5. Their attempts backfire, with every humiliation only making the indestructible John Tucker look better and better. There is a message in the film, the usual obligatory moralising about revenge being cruel and pointless and that you only hurt yourself in the end, all works out without any real blood being spilled and in the end this is nothing more than a gentle, comical teen comedy. 

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