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I bought this off amazon a while back and only just got round to watching it today when I was bored and putting off things that I should be doing! I had heard of it before, it does seem like a film that has quite a following and is popular among teens and I think it is on TV fairly frequently although I wasn't actually aware what it was about.
Basically it is sort of like a 90's version of the teen dramas of today like The Hills, but particularly it reminds me of Gossip Girl because the two main characters just seem so much like Chuck and Blair with the way they manipulate people and have different schemes.
The story is set in New York with the social elite, the rich youth who get what they want when they want and then start to get bored of that so decide to start manipulating and playing games with others to control them for their own amusement. Kathryn to the outside world is a perfect little girl who gets all her homework done and doesn't give into excess, however the story is totally different. Her stepbrother is Sebastian and he joins her in manipulation, since their parents married he has been trying to sleep with her but she has always refused. Kathryn's latest scheme is befriending the new girl at school, Cecile is now going out with her ex boyfriend. Cecile thinks she has a new friend but really Kathryn is just trying to drag her down and corrupt her as revenge, she gets Sebastian in on this. at the same time the headmistress's virginal daughter is saving herself for marriage and staying with their aunt until school starts, Sebastian thinks that he can win her over and sleep with her - so they make a deal that if he manages to seduce her then he can sleep with Kathryn and if he doesn't he will give his vintage car to Kathryn. However, will things get a lot more complicated? And who will win the bet?
The main actors within this are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Selma Blair. However there are also appearances here with quite well known actors for minor roles, for example Tara Reid (Danni from Scrubs) as Marci. What I really liked was the way that all the characters had so much chemistry with each other! I wasn't actually that keen on Reese Witherspoon in the role and didn't really entirely understand why she was so in love with Sebastian as that part of the film didn't seem very well explained, but Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe had such good chemistry, you could practically feel the sexual tension! Selma Blair was also good in her role, very naive.
It also seemed quite a nice time, 97 minutes wasn't too long or too short as some films seem to be getting really far too long these days, I can't be bothered to sit and watch a two and a half hour film! The fact that there was two plots running alongside each other was also good in some ways because it engaged your attention, but then there was some things that I didn't think were explained that well and made me not really like Reese Witherspoon in that film!
Cruel Intentions is an adaptation of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses', a 18th-century French epistolary novel by Laclos. Though it was set in New York City. there were two other modern film versions of 'Les Liasons Dangereuses' called Valmont and Dangerous Liasions (starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich) which were set in France. Cruel Intentions is a 1999 (was set in the late nineties) film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon. At first it started off as a low budgeted film and was not expected to be as sucessful as it became, until it was taken up by Columbian Pictures.
Cruel Intentions 2 and 3:
There are two other Cruel Intentions films which went straight to video. I think that it was a bad mistake to make another two films after the original and unnecessary. Cruel intentions 2 and 3 starred completely different characters and could never of lived up to the original film. Cruel Intentions 2 was actually supposed to be a TV pilot for a spin-off series, but was pulled because it was deemed not suitable to be shown on TV. Three episodes of Cruel Intentions 2 were instead edited and made into a film instead. Both the last films went direct-to-video. Cruel Intentions 2 was about two of the main character's lives before Cruel Intentions 2, and partly beacause of this reason, it didn't quite work for me.
Plot of Cruel Intentions:
Sebastian Valmont is a womanizer and has a reputation of sleeping with girls before movng onto the next. His step-sister is Katherine is a spoilt and selfish and is use to getting her own way. They make a bet on whether Sebastian can convince the new headmaster's innocent daughter called to Annette (who is a virgin and already has a boyfriend) to sleep with him. Meanwhile Katherine plots her revenge on her ex-boyfriend using naive Cecile Cadwell, who is a new pupil at the school. Sebastian and Reese become closer, but do not get the outcome that they both wanted.
Ryan and Reese were very much in love when filiming Cruel Intentions that the thougt of having to film a fighting scene reduced them to tears. They real life relationship sounded really intense, though it's a shame that it didn't last. The fact that Resse and Ryan were a real life couple in a serious relationship showed the chemistry between their characters on screen. I wouldn't say that Ryan Phillippe acting skills were the best in this film, I think they have improved a lot in his later films. I felt that Sarah Michelle Gellar was good at playing a completely different character to Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It's easy to forget that the young cast in Cruel Intentions were in their twenties when making this film, they looked a lot younger than they were. Selma Blair looked very young it's hard to believe that she was 27 when Cruel Intentions was filmed! It makes a change from some American films when they try to convince their audience that an actor who is and looks like they're in their twenties are actually a teenager. Dawson's Creek anyone?
If you're looking for a light, uplifting comedy then Cruel Intentions is not it. The soundtrack very much suits the film and includes The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' (Whenever I hear that song it always reminds me of this film), which is quie sad song and suits the scene that it is used for. It's a very powerful song in the film. Other songs used includes a variety of artists such as Blur, Fatboy Slim, Skunk Anansie, Counting Crows and Faithless. There is a soundtrack to Cruel Intentions which is still available to buy.
Cruel Intentions is tale of romance, sex, love and deceit. There are a couple of nudity scenes, including asex scene - which more 'making love' (i hate thst phrase) the would say rather than just sex. I can't count how many times I have watched Cruel Intentions since I brought the video back in 2000. I think that is more to do with Ryan Philippe though, as he reminds me of someone else in real life. I would love to have the kind of relationship that his and Reese's characters have later on in the film. I now have Cruel Intentions on DVD and it's quite cheap to buy now at under £4.
DVD special features includes the US trailer, 5 deleted scenes, Director/Producer commentary and 2 music videos (Marcy Playground and Placebo).
It's a good film, I wouldn't say it was the best film ever to be made, but it still gets five stars from me.
Cruel Intentions was released in 1999 amogst a rash of teen movies, many of which were adaptations of other stories. Cruel Intentions itself is a modern day remake of the 80's film Dangerous Liasons, which in itself was set in 18th Century France.
Catherine (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe) are wealthy but bored stepsiblings, left to their own devices for the summer in a massive apartment by their parents. Sebastian has a nasty playboy reputation which he has no qualms with, whilst Catherine has an impeccable clean-cut reputation which she manages to maintain whilst hiding her rampant promiscuity and coke habit (the makings of which she keeps hidden in a piece of crucifix jewellery.) Between them they systematically plot and scheme to get their own way.
Catherine's much vaunted position as head of the student body at their exclusive private school brings her into contact with naive virginial ingenue Cecile (Selma Blair) and her overly ambitious mother who forces Cecille onto Catherine so that the latter can act as her mentor. However, Catherine has ulterior motives to taking Cecille under her wing as she has discovered that her former lover has changed his affections over to Cecille, and sets about ruining her foe's sexual reputation.
Meanwhile Sebastian, becomes 'sick of sleeping with these insipid Manhattan debuntantes' and sets himself on what he appears to be the ultimate goal- the new headteachers daughter Annette (Reese wetherspoon). Annette's social position is not the only reason that Sebastian is so desperate to pursue her; she has made a very public stance that she is a virgin and plans to remain so until her wedding day.
On learning of this, Catherine makes a wicked deal with her stepbrother- if he fails to sleep with Annette then Catherine will keep his car; if he does managed to sleep with Annette - Catherine will give him an unbridled night of passion - a notion that she has been teasing him with since their parents got married.
And so the games begin, and the two siblings plans intermingle and draw more and more people into their sordid mess.
First up, this is one of my favourite films. Where too many teen films are either too tame and insipid or broad and gross-out this is smart, funny, tense and above all sexy. The plotting is smart and takes a number of twists and turns along the way. It zips along at quite a pace with nothing to spare but does not feel lightweight either. It has a dirty mouth and just the right level of raunch to set it a cut above most other teen movies and does not chicken out either. There is a much vaunted kissing scene between Gellar and Blair which was voted at the Top Sexiest Moment by a Channel 4 poll a few years ago, however I feel that this scene (which is quite lengthy and gratuitous) is a little out-of-step with the rest of the film. There are a couple of scenes, one in particular between Phillipe and Gellar (they display fabulous chemistry throughout the film) which is much more intense without being at all explicit.
The performances are roundly great. Gellar and Blair are worth a particular mention (the latter providing a convincing comic foil to the wickedness of the two protagonists.)Joshua Jackson (most notably of Dawson's Creek) really makes an impact as a drug dealing accomplice to Sebastian's misdeeds. However, Phillipe's performance, which is what most of the film is pinned on can sometimes slip over into pantomime villain at times.
The soundtrack it has to be said is one of the best things about this film. It opens stirringly with Placebo's Every You Every Me and concludes with The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony. In between we also get snippets of tracks from Aimee Mann, The Cardigans, Counting Crows, Skunk Anansie and Fatboy Slim. It is one of the best movie compliations I know of, alongside Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and the CD, which I also own, is well worth tracking down. The incidental music for teh film is also good and appropriate.
Stylistically it looks great, and it is hear that it rather reminds me of the Gossip Girl TV series, even though this predates it by nearly a decade. Although it is slightly more adult - I think that this would appeal to fans of GG as it has a lot of themes and context in common.
Of course it is not the deepest film in the world but it does have things to say about sexual politics and the importance and fragility of social standing and reputation, even in these seemingly more liberal times.
*There is a US Theatrical Trailer
*A behind-the-scenes featurette - this is pretty unremarkable serving rather as a promotional puff piece
*2 Music videos - Every You Every Me by Placebo, Coming Up From Behind by Marcy Playground
*There are 5 deleted/extended scenes, each introduced by the director with reasons why they were not included and seeing them - I'm not surprised that they were cut! You do have to select them individually however - you can't just watch them all in a row.
An on-screen set of 'facts and filmographies' of key cast and crew
There is also a feature commentary by the director, but what I heard of this was not really that interested, this isn't really a film with massive hidden depths so it does not really stand up to massive scruitiny.
In conclusion, I think this is one of the best teen movies you could ever expect to see. It is of high quality, well acted and plotted. and has dated really well and its a shame that there are not more examples in the genre that are as good as this.
This is a typical teenage romantic comedy. It involves the 'popular' kids and people who will do a lot to become one of the 'popular' kids. Sarah and Ryan manipulate other people to do things that they want with the idea that they will help them become popular. But with the classic storyline one of them then falls in love getting himself in a bit of a mess. The film has a sad ending which along with the rest of the storyline is very moving. Some scenes are a bit dirty, wouldn't recommend family viewing but there is also lots of aspects of comedy and romance making this one of the best films released. The soundtrack is great with some very moving songs, but I must point out the follow up films from this are very disappointing and really not worth watching especially when compared with the first film. Great for a girls night in!
Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and Step sister Kathryn Mertevil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) have the lives that any teenager would want. They are popular, they are rich and beautiful and they live their lives with minimal interference from their parents.
Sebastian is loved by the girls, but is fed up it's all too easy for him there is no chase. That is until he reads an article about Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) Annette is their new headmasters daughter and soon to be student at their school and the article is about how she is proud to be a virgin and that she is going to stay that way until she gets married/falls in love.
This interests Sebastian and he also tells his sister, Kathryn is also interests and decides to offer herself into the bet. Kathryn is the only woman that Sebastian has never been able to have until now, she tells him that is he manages to bed Annette that he can also have her, but there is a downside to this bet if he doesn't then she gets his most prized possession his car.
Kathryn also has her own challenge in front of her. She has been asked to take Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair) under her wing by Cecile's mother, which she agrees to but this is more for Kathryn's benefit than hers. Kathryn had been dating a man called Court, but then she was dumped for Cecile, she wants her revenge but this way it cannot be traced back to her.
Cecile is very innocent and virginal, it seems as though she is an only child and with her parents riches has been left to play the child for too long and Kathryn decides that it is time for her to grow up, as well as for her to get a sexual awakening, Kathryn wants to ruin her reputation and sabotage her relationship with Court.
This film has quite a few storylines running through but not so many that it gets confusing, which I really enjoy. During this film I never felt as though I was bored at any point and I felt entertained the whole way through.
I really enjoyed the characters Kathryn and Cecil, they are very different and both add to the film. Kathryn is very devious and I really enjoyed Sarah Michelle Gellar's portrayal of the character and I found her to be very believable. I loved the comedy that Selma Blair added to this film, she is a very gifted comedic actress and I always enjoy watching her.
I found that I loved the way that Sebastians character changed throughout the film, he managed to open himself up and change completely through the film. It was as though he learnt how to use his emotions again.
The soundtrack to this film is amazing including Every you, every me by placebo and Bittersweet symphony by the verve. I felt that these two tracks especially made the film and the track bittersweet symphony especially, making you feel even more emotional through the ending of the film.
Cruel Intentions is a drama film that was released in 1999. It was based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Laclos. A prequel, Cruel Intentions 2 and a sequel, Cruel Intentions 3 have also been released although they were direct to DVD. The film is 97 minutes long and is rated 15 due to sexual content and language.
Sebastien Valmont, and Kathryn Merteuil are step brother and sister who's family is extremely rich and they live on the Upper East Side of New York. Everyone at their school either wants to be them or be with them. As Sebastian is used to getting every woman he wants, he is getting bored with the chase but one woman who Sebastian has never managed to get is Kathryn and when she offers him the chance, he immediately takes her bet.
The new school's headmaster's daughter, Annette, is a virgin and publicly open about her reasons why, stating that she is waiting for love and marriage and Sebastian is exactly the kind of guy that she knows will be bad for her. Kathryn wants Sebastian to sleep with Annette and in return he will get her, but if he doesn't succeed, she will get his classic car.
Meanwhile, Kathryn has a plan of her own. Someone that she liked got taken away by a young, naïve girl and she wants revenge. Kathryn takes it upon herself to make Cecil cool and ruin her at the same time. Cecil takes music lessons and her teacher is quite smitten and the feelings are returned but she is worried because her mother is quite racist.
Sebastian and Kathryn are out on missions of their own but something will change one of them forever.
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Kathryn Merteuil
Ryan Phillippe ... Sebastian Valmont
Reese Witherspoon ... Annette Hargrove
Selma Blair ... Cecile Caldwell
Louise Fletcher ... Helen Rosemond
Joshua Jackson ... Blaine Tuttle
Eric Mabius ... Greg McConnell
Sean Patrick Thomas ... Ronald Clifford
Swoosie Kurtz ... Dr. Greenbaum
Christine Baranski ... Bunny Caldwell
I only really watched this film in the beginning because of Sarah Michelle Gellar. I was a massive fan of Buffy and wanted to see her do well in films but this hasn't really been the case. This is the only film where I thought she did any good. Gellar has a fantastic presence throughout the film and completely different from her character in Buffy. Kathryn is a character that is devious and manipulative and Gellar was fantastic portraying these characteristics. I utterly believed everything about Kathryn and really didn't like her which was exactly what I was supposed to feel.
Ryan Phillipe plays Sebastian and he's the guy who you cannot help but love even when you don't want to. Most of the things that Sebastian does are terrible and selfish for 95% of the time. I really wanted to hate him for the entire film but part way through you can see something soften in him and I ended up loving him towards the end. His softness is what makes him different from Kathryn, who has no morals whatsoever. Sebastian struggles with some of his choices and realises that he can change for the better just because of one person.
I wasn't all that impressed with Reese Witherspoon and I normally love her. I thought her character was far too sweet and innocent through the whole film and there was just something about the performance that I didn't warm to. Annette is supposed to know exactly what she wants and is confident that she will stay a virgin until she gets married but the time span that the film shows makes her look very weak because he breaks her promises to herself very quickly.
The content of the story gave me everything that I could have wanted. Right from the start there is action, sex and betrayal which features throughout the film but there is also a bit of romance to give it a lighter feel towards the end. There are a few different parts of the story when it comes to the characters and all of them held my attention equally and I couldn't wait to find out what happened to them all.
Normally I don't really pay that much attention to the soundtrack of a film but this was one that I loved and it would easily make my top 10 soundtracks list. There are 4 songs that I remember most and they are:
The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
Placebo - Every You Every Me
Fatboy Slim - Praise You
Counting Crows - Colorblind
Each song holds a lot of meaning to the scenes that they are used and I will never be able to listen to these songs without thinking of this film.
There is a lot of sex, bad language and drugs throughout so Cruel Intentions is well deserved of its 15 rating. I highly recommend this very entertaining and dramatic film.
This film was released in 1999 starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah-Micelle Gellar in the leading roles. It also has tow more films made about it Cruel Intentions 2 (prequel) and Cruel Intentions 3 (sequal). The film is based around a book written in the 18th century called "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" but the location of the story has been changed for the film version (France-New York).
This film is great, a fantastic storyline and brilliant cast. The film made me cry the first time I watched it and the ending is great! Get the tissues at the ready!!
Sebastian (Phillippe) is a notorious womaniser and is known for getting any woman he wants into bed, but he cant get the one woman he wants his, step sister Kathryn (Gellar) so they make a bet, if Sebastian can get new-comer Annette (Witherspoon) into bed then he will get to sleep with Kathryn, if he loses he has to give her his Jaguar.
But Annette isnt going to be an easy conquest.She has vowed to stay a virgin until she falls in love. Will Sebastian win his bet and make Annette fall for him or will his plan backfire and teach him the error of his womanising ways? Kathryn will do anything to manipulate pretty much anyone but will she get away with it this time?
Kathryn really is the social image of perfection no-one can see what she is like behind closed doors and in public she is the model student and woman. But when her boyfriend Court finishes with her and gets with naive girl Cecile (Selma Blair) she vows to ruin her life, and takes her under her wing to "teach her a lesson."
She tries to make Cecile sleep with as many men as possible to ruin her reputation and therfore ruin her relationship with Court. She enlists Sebastian in her plan and tells Cecile she must sleep with him as many times as possible in order to get better at sex.
Will Kathryn get her way as she so often does or will she finally get her comupence this time?
BRILLIANT ending to the film but very sad. Will Sebastian Change His Ways? Will People Get To See The Real Kathryn? Well there are many twists and turns in this fabulous movie which makes it a must see trust me you wont be disappointed!
One of my favourite films of all time, well worth watching!
It's probably fair to say that without the beautiful leads - Ryan Phillipe, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar - this would be some movie of the week on the Hallmark channel. That said, it is certainly enjoyable as a melodramatic bit of trash. It's slick, and doesn't apologise for it, which is almost admirable in a way.
Sebastian Belmont (Phillipe) is a young student that seduces any woman he touches. He has a vicious stepsister named Katherine (Gellar), and she proposes a bet to him, that if he can seduce priss Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon), who vows to wait until marriage to have sex, then Katherine herself with have sex with him. If he can't do it, then she gets his car. So kickstarts a web of lies, betrayal, and admittedly, some character 180s that aren't massively convincing. It all works under the tangent of a gloriously slick melodrama, and although it is very hokey, it's also pretty damn entertaining.
The film does well to revel in its sheer silliness, and by its outrageous turns, is actually pretty fun. The performances are better and more knowing than most other teen films, and director and writer Roger Kumble is clearly having fun playing with the teen drama format, poking fun at it a little, but also adhering heavy to the bathos and overt sentimentality that these films bear, particularly as the film transitions into its third act.
A well-made, unapologetic melodrama that is sexy and engrossing, even if the script is sometimes too contrived, and it panders to the histrionic embellishments of teenage pulp novels. A certifiable guilty pleasure though, but beware of the sequels - they are absolute tosh.
Rich kids Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her stepbrother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) love to mess with peoples lives and know they are better than everyone else and to this end they have a bet that Sebastian can't bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon) who is the head teachers virginal daughter. The prize is if Kathryn wins she gets his classic Jaguar convertible and if Sebastian wins then he gets a night with Kathryn.
The film sees Sebastian however start to question himself as he is falling for Annette and as Kathryn continues to taunt Sebastian we see power and love become tangled together in a web of deceipt and lies.
I have to say straight away that this is one of my favourite movies ever (I know that this is classed as a teen flick by many). I loved the cast (a large amount of which have gone onto achieve good success with their careers) and felt that the casting was done perfectly as they picked each person for their role perfectly. The storyline is fantastic (I know it has been done before) and thanks to excellent direction and script work the film manages to have a seductive and sexual feel throughout as they aim for.
If you have never seen this movie then I have to tell you to get a hold of it and sit with a nice glass of wine and just relax and enjoy.
Cruel Intentions had won me over from the start with "Every Me, Every You" by Placebo as the opening track. We meet Sebastian Valmont a young man who is extremely wealthy and arrogant. He seduces women for fun and then discards them as a sort of game and even uses seduction as a weapon as we see when we meet him first, as he leaves the office of an angry psychiatrist who has been over charging.
His step-sister, Kathryn, is not dissimilar. When we first meet her she is in a meeting with a mother of a girl who is just entering the school Kathryn is head-girl of. They are all clearly of New York's upper class of the Upper-East side. Kathryn agrees to take on the girl Cecile but despite the innocent performance Kathryn puts up for the mother her true intentions aren't so honourable. Kathryn's ex-boyfriend dumped her for Cecile and Kathryn being the spoilt brat didn't like this so intends on get revenge on her ex by getting the young, innocent Cecile to sleep with as many men as possible. Of course she first turns to her infamous step-brother but Sebastian is on another mission. A new girl is coming to school, the daughter of the new head master. This girl is to be Sebastian's greatest conquest to date as she has recently written an article for a magazine on the benefits of virginity and her pledge of abstinence. Kathryn doesn't believe he'll manage such a fete so makes a wager. If Sebastian doesn't manage to seduce Annette, he has to give up his fancy car (that looks like the monopoly car and a bit stupid in my opinion) but if Sebastian wins he gets what he has always wanted, to have sex with Kathryn.
The film then follows Sebastian's ploys and endeavours to win over the chaste Annette and Kathryn's manipulative scheming to also deflower Cecile by as many men as she can. However, of course, things don't go to plan what-so-ever.
I liked this film. I mainly watched it as being a Buffy fan Sarah Michelle Geller hooked me in. Now in my opinion which no-one seems to agree with, Willow was sort of hotter than Buffy. But in this film Sarah Michelle Geller was very sexy, a lot more so than she is in a lot of other stuff, she was constantly toying with her step-brother who was infatuated with her and best of all we had the kiss with Cecile played by Selma Blair, which won the MTV award for best kiss, I'll have you know. Despite how much you drool over her she is also the villain of the film and you really wanted her to get her comeuppance and Geller done a great job of playing this two-faced vindictive character. Sebastian was played by Ryan Philippe who also starred as Geller's boyfriend in I Know What You Did Last Summer. I didn't think he was too great in that film and I haven't seen him in much else but I he was very good in this. Sebastian is the most complex character in the film, he is the most likable oddly and also the funniest. Now Reese Witherspoon I hate. I don't like the look of her, I don't like her annoying accent and I don't think she is a good actress in the slightest. Thankfully she doesn't have a massive part in this film and I concede she served her purpose adequately but I would have been happier with anyone else. I'd love to punch her in that annoying chin. Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon actually got married after this film was made. Selma Blair's character was a bit odd and maybe unrealistically naïve but she made the film a bit more comic, she's been in things like HellBoy etc. Joshua Jackson of Dawson's Creek played Sebastian's gay friend and the guy who played Sidney's boyfriend in Scream 2 has a small part.
The film was written and directed by Roger Kumble. He has made only a few other lesser teen films since, including a direct-to-video sequel to Cruel Intentions and Cruel Intentions appears to be by far his best work. He adapted it from a famous French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses which has been directly adapted into films set during the period of the novel (18th century). I have neither read the book nor seen any of these films so I can not compare. However, the end of this film was a bit of a disappointment, it became a little too soppy and romantic. Too predictable and began to lose a lot of its originality but the strength of the majority sort of gave this a pass.
As already said the soundtrack was a great addition to this film
1 Every You Every Me (single mix) - Placebo
2 Praise You (radio edit) - Fatboy Slim
3 Coffee And TV - Blur
4 Bedroom Dancing (first recording) - Day One
5 Colourblind - Counting Crows
6 Ordinary Life - Barry, Kristen
7 Comin' Up From Behind - Marcy's Playground
8 Secretly - Skunk Anansie
9 This Love - Armstrong, Craig
10 You Could Make A Killing - Mann, Aimee
11 Addictive - Faithless
12 Trip On Love - Moore, Abra
13 You Blew Me Off - Bare Junior
14 Bittersweet Symphony (original) - Verve
15. Due to sex and a lot of sexual references and bad language. Drug use.
Written by Phelim McC. Don't Steal it, it's poisonous.
One of my favorite films, its a pleasure to review.
If you are looking for a clever, mature, and sophisticated teen film, look no further.
A quick note- this film is rated 15. There is no nudity (apart from a very beautiful bottom, but the film is littered with profanities, and sexual references.
"Cruel Intentions" was based upon the 1782 novel "Les Liasons dangereuses" by by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
The original novel was about the Marquise de Merteuil, and the Vicomte de Valmont, who get off on playing strange power games with innocent people.
The book has been adapted into many films ("Les Liasons dangereuses"-1959, "Dangerous Liasons"-1988, "Valmont"-1989, and "Cruel Intentions" 1999).
Sebastien Valmont, and Kathryn Merteuil are step siblings. Rich bored and beautiful, they amuse themselves by playing games with other people.
Bored with picking up girls and destroying their innocence, Sebastien accepts a bet from Kathryn. If he can sleep with Annette Hargrove (the new school headteachers virginial daughter, who is saving herself for marriage), then Kathryn will sleep with him....something that Sebastian has been desperate for. If he doesnt suceed in seducing Annette, then he has to give Kathryn his prized possesion, his car.
In the meantime, Kathryn is occupying herself by destroying the reputation of Cecile Caldwell, the innocent and childlike girl that Kathryns ex boyfriend has his sights on.
Kathryn regardless of her secret plottings, has a very respectable reputation at her school. Ceciles mother is very pleased when Kathryn takes Cecile under her wing, naive to Kathryns true intentions.
What follows is a tale of manipulation, plots, love humour, tragedy, and romance.
But I shant give anymore away.
Characters and cast.
I have a huge Buffy obsession. This might be a little irrelevant, but ah well. I love Sarah Michelle Gellar, but even my utter adoration cannot overcome the fact that she has made some appalling films.
"Cruel intentions" demonstrates what talent and potential SMG really has.
She is amazing in this film, and, considering it is a complete departure from Buffy Summers, she gets extra credit in my eyes.
Her character, Kathryn, is truly devoid of morals. She plays games with people for her own amusement, and takes pleasure in distroying the people around her.
Ryan Phillipe is both vulnerable and cruel as Sebastien Valmont. His beautiful beautiful face makes it very difficult to dislike him, but his actions are, at times, truly disgusting.
Unlike Kathryn though, there is a glimmer of humanity to Sebastien, most evident when he falls for Annette (Reece Witherspoon).
Reece Witherspoon as virginial Annette falls rather flat for me. Her character comes across as superior, rather than innocent, and I found it really hard to muster any sympathy toward her whatsoever.
Selma Blair turns in an amazing performance as childlike Cecile. Her performace is truly believable, and lends humour to the mostly serious plot.
Joshua Jackson (Dawsons creeks lovely Pacey Witter) also lends comic relief as Sebastiens very gay best friend, Blaine.
Again, playing such an overtly gay character is such a departure for Joshua Jackson, but his role (though small) is very convincing, if not a little cliche.
What was wrong with it?
well, firstly, I have never met a teenager who was as sophisticated, beautiful and intelligent as Sebastien and Kathryn.
Although they look like teenagers (albeit incredibly polished, beautiful, well dressed teenagers) their intentions, actions and language are of people far more sophisticated, and far more jaded.Its hard to believe that two people so young would be so evil.
However, if you can get past that, and suspend your disbelief, it isnt a problem.
Kids are a lot more mature these days, and I imagine that having a huge amount of money, absent parents, and too much time on your hands would make you grow up more quickly.
As I said before, Reece Witherspoons performance falls a little flat...although, I must point out only in comparison to the rest of the cast. Her performance is actually very credible, and she is a very talented lady...its just that everyone else is so amazingly good, her turn appears a little lacklustre.
I found it really hard to understand why Annette would fall for Sebastian. She is so stubborn in the beginning about her beliefs against sex before marriage, but then, just like all the other girls, she swoons as soon as Sebastian turns his baby blues on her.
I also struggled to understand why Sebastian falls for Annette...but that could be jealousy more than anything else. I rather want Sebastian to fall for me.
Whats good about it?
Although I said that the maturity and sophistication of the characters was a downfall, I also consider it a plus point. Sebastien and Kathryn are disgusting people. Too beautiful, too clever, too rich, too bored. Thats what makes them wonderful. Its a complete departure from mundane everyday life. There are the kind of people we can only aspire to be. Im not saying we all want to be evil....but I am sure there is a part of all of us that would take a certain amount of pleasure in being so free of morals that we could act as we liked, and create complex plots, using people around us as pawns in our machiavellian games.
Or is that just me?
The language is delicious. Some of the phrases are absolute genius. It is hard to believe that teenagers would have such huge vocabularies, and such a poetic way with words, bu again, if you can suspend your disbelief, it really is enjoyable. There is nothing in this film that is dumbed down, or simplified for a younger audience. If anything, the films language and themes are too mature and sophisticated for a teen audience, and would sit better with an older viewer.
Perhaps thats why it was such a hit with teenagers. No one likes being talked down to.
This film is not your average teen flick. There are no booby shots, no cheap drinking gags, no penis's in pies. Its a sophisticated movie with a complicated and polished plot.
Another plus point is how sexy the film is. The chemistry between Kathryn and Sebastian is dynamite. Kinda sick (although step siblings is not too icky I suppose), but I continuously hoped Sebastian and Kathryn would get it on. They were far better matched than Sebastian and sickly sweet Annette.
I love the way that this film doesnt apologise for itself. There is teenage sex, drug abuse, diabolical behavior, and not once a preachy moral *this is wrong* type message.
We know its wrong, thats why its delicious.
The ending, is devestating. Truly heart wrenching. Until is tails off rather quietly, and rather strangely at the end.
Fortunatly, the sadness of the ending, overrides the quick and abrupt, and rather unrealistic finish.
The costumes, although simple, are scrumptious. There was real thought put into dressing the characters. Everything is beautifully made and detailed (check out the corset on SMG).
The sets are lavish, really demonstrating the opulence and wealthy that has driven the two main characters toward their boredom.
What really makes this film, is the stellar performances delivered by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillipe. SMG is amazing as black widow Kathryn, and really realistically portays the claustraphobia of having to live up to societies ideals, and public constraints. Her character is so wicked, and so devoid of emotion. The final moment, where Kathryns world falls around her, is really beautiful. The look on Sarah Michelle Gellars face is so heartwrenching, and sincerely devestated.
Ryan Phillipe plays the part beautifully. His character is almost like a parody of himself. He plays the bad guy, but on the inside he is just as human as anyone. Only the contrast between himself, and Kathryn really demonstrates how vulnerable, and easily manipulated he is.
This film is one that I can watch over and over and over again. Everything is so polished, so sophisticated, so darkly humourous, and so evil, that it brings me endless pleasure.
I would recommend it to anyone and everyone....just dont watch it in the same room as your parents.
They can watch it in a different room.
The soundtrack is utterly gorgeous. Most memorable is "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by the Verve.
Here is a list of the tracks, featured on the soundtrack.
I know a lot of people consider these lists useless, but I want to demonstrate how many amazing songs are featured in the film.
Placebo - "Every You, Every Me (Single Mix)"
Fatboy Slim - "Praise You (Radio Edit)"
Blur - "Coffee & TV"
Day One - "Bedroom Dancing (First Recording)"
Counting Crows - "Colorblind"
Kristen Barry - "Ordinary Life"
Marcy Playground - "Comin' Up From Behind"
Skunk Anansie - "Secretly"
Craig Armstrong (featuring Elizabeth Fraser)- "This Love"
Aimee Mann - "You Could Make A Killing"
Faithless - "Addictive"
Abra Moore - "Trip On Love"
Bare, Jr. - "You Blew Me Off"
The Verve - "Bitter Sweet Symphony (Album Version)"
Bits and bobs.
Writers -Choderlos de Laclos (novel)
Roger Kumble (screenplay)
Release Date-18 June 1999
"Cruel Intentions" won many awards, including the Blockbuster Entertainment award for favorite supporting actress (Reece Witherspoon), The Golden slate award for best original score, The Golden slate award for best movie soundtrack, An Mtv award for best female performance (Sarah Michelle Gellar), an MTV award for best kiss (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair, the Teen Choice award for best film, and The Teen choice award for sexiest love scene.
You can buy from amazon.co.uk, for as little as £1.99.
Do it. Its well worth it.
Final final word:
Why in blue hell couldnt bloody Annette get herself out of the damned road?
That is all.
This is one of the best teen flicks in recent times, and better thaan all those other ones like 10 things i hate about you and save the last dance etc. Here the main stars are Ryan Phillipe as Sebastian and the stunning Sarah Michelle Gellar as Catherine. They play step brother and sister with very cruel intentions.
The plot consists of Sebastian reading an article about a girl(his real life wife, Rees Witherspoon) who wants to keep her virginity until she is married. Both brother and sister are amused by this article so Catherine makes a bet with Sebastian that she can not have sex with the virgin. If she wins then she gets his Jaguar and if he wins then in her own words "she will give him something he has been obsessing about every since their parents got married". If you can't figure out what he wins, then well maybe this film is not for you.
They toy with peoples emotions and are constantly backstabbing each other. Their acting is very good and you totally believe everything that is happening on screen. I had never seen Ryan Phillipe act before but he was very good and it is no suprise he got a role in the oscar winning movie Crash. For me the point where I realised that this film was class was when I watched Cruel Intentions 2 and there was a huge difference, mainly due to the acting between the leads in the two movies.
Cruel intentions is a great thriller about a very odd brother and step sister who enjoy playing mind games withother people and each other to the point of being very cruel,kathryn sets her brother a challenge,to bed the beautiful reese wetherspoon who has written a famous essay on abastaining from sex till she meets the right man and who is proud of her virginity(these are all teenagers),Kathryn agrees that if her brother can do this she herself will sleep with him but if he cant she will win his new car,Kathryn sets up lots of things to get in the way of her brother but she doesnt count on him falling in love with the girl
This is a very clever movie and every time i watch it i enjoy it ,the plot is sharp and sassy and sarah michelle geller is excellent as the evil kathryn,the film is very sex orientated and quite good fun and it has the most brilliant soundtrack especailly in the last scene which really is brilliant,i highly recommend this movie its a real gem
94 minutes long rated 15 found on amazon for £0.99.dvd has deleted scenes fimographyand trailers on
I do like this film, it has a super cast of actors who all went on to bigger and better things, female lead Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as Buffy the Vampire Slayer however in this film she plays a very different chaacter as the sexually aware spoilt little rich girl who uses her suxuality to exact revenge on those who slight her or sometimes just to get a sadistic pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Together with her step brother Sebastian plaued by Ryan Phillippe they have a perverted relatonship which damages those around them.
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Kathryn Merteuil
Ryan Phillippe ... Sebastian Valmont
Reese Witherspoon ... Annette Hargrove
Selma Blair ... Cecile Caldwell
Louise Fletcher ... Helen Rosemond
Joshua Jackson ... Blaine Tuttle
Eric Mabius ... Greg McConnell
Sean Patrick Thomas ... Ronald Clifford
Swoosie Kurtz ... Dr. Greenbaum
Christine Baranski ... Bunny Caldwell
The film is portrayed as a modern version of Dangerous Liasons and in this film Gellars character, Kathryn, enters in to a bet with Sebastion that he cannot de-flower a young girl who has published an article about keeping her virginity. The girl in question Annette is played by Reese Witherspoon and she has earned the dislike of Kathryn after her boyfriend dumped her for Annette.
At times there is a nice dark humour to this film that is rather amusing, I was slightly disappointed with the ending of the film as it was a bit weak but overall it was an enjoyable drama comedy that you should not take too seriously.
I was impressed with some of the performances fro a fairly young cast including a very amsuing portrayal by Selma Blair of the naive Cecile who Sebastion also seduces.
Cruel Intentions is the 1999 film which is a modern day remake of Dangerous Liaisons, and based on the 18th century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It is a tale of seduction and is well directed by Roger Kumble.
The film is a twisted tale of seduction with the backdrop of wealthy college kids in the States. Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) are step-siblings with common morals - each is the most popular of their sex, and each regularly proves to the other how good they are at bedding someone. Kathryn bets Sebastian that he cannot bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon), a virgin who has vowed to wait until love before losing her virginity. If he succeeds, he gets to spend a night with Kathryn.
Essentially, this film is about nothing but ego. There are some good performances on show, with the two leads giving seductive and passionate performances. The supporting cast is equally as good, with Joshua Jackson, Selma Blair and Sean Patrick Thomas strong in their roles, but no one else really stands out.
There is a little comedy in the film, which takes the seductive nature to a new level, and explores the inner devil and disregards all morals and ethics and goes straight for the jugular in showing us how devious the human mind can be. Kathryn is nothing short of selfish and arrogant, and Sebastian is not that dissimilar, although he does have the odd moment of clarity where he rethinks how he is.
Ultimately, the film is enjoyable, but the plot is as shallow as its characters. At times it drags and I wondered where it was going with some of its subplots. It does deal with social issues that affect us such as drugs, sex and social status, and does so in an up front manner, not shirking away from tackling them. The film achieved relative success, but was never intended to be a big blockbuster. It has been criticised for its cruel depiction of teenage society, but I would say its handling of this was maturely done.
The film is probably not one I would watch over and over again, but if it is on TV, I would probably put it on. The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98.
This modern-day teen update of Les Liaisons Dangereuses suffered at the hands of both critics and moviegoers thanks to its sumptuous ad campaign, which hyped the film as an arch, highly sexual, faux-serious drama (not unlike the successful, Oscar-nominated Dangerous Liaisons). In fact, Cruel Intentions plays like high comedy for its first two-thirds, as its two evil heroes, rich stepsiblings Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), blithely ruin lives and reputations with hearts as black as coal. Kathryn wants revenge on a boyfriend who dumped her, so she befriends his new intended, the gawky Cecile (Selma Blair), and gets Sebastian to deflower the innocent virgin. The meat of the game, though, lies in Sebastian's seduction of good girl Annette (a down-to-earth Reese Witherspoon), who has written a nationally published essay entitled "Why I Choose to Wait." If he fails, Kathryn gets his precious vintage convertible; if he wins, he gets Kathryn--in the sack. When the movie sticks to the merry ruination of Kathryn and Sebastian's pawns, it's highly enjoyable: Gellar in particular is a two-faced manipulator extraordinaire, and Phillippe, usually a black hole, manages some fun as a hipster Eurotrash stud. Most pleasantly surprising of all is Witherspoon, who puts a remarkably self-assured spin on a character usually considered vulnerable and tortured (see Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons). Unfortunately, writer-director Roger Kumble undermines everything he's built up with a false ending that's true to neither the reconceived characters nor the original story--revenge is a dish best served cold, not cooked up with unnecessary plot twists. --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com