Sunday, March 04, 2007

Material Girls.

Material Girls confirms once and for all where Haylie Duff stands in regard to her sister Hilary, as if there was any doubt - Hilary has a producer credit (along with her mum Susan) while poor Haylie has to make do with being a co-producer; Hilary's then-boyfriend Joel Madden has a cameo as one of the "valets" who steals the sisters' car, but Haylie's man - if she has one - doesn't turn up; and Haylie really does not match Hilary in terms of looks or talent. Not that this is exactly a great vehicle for the sisters; it was originally written for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, but it ended up being a Madonna-backed bomb for the Duffs instead (Mrs. Ritchie's Maverick Films is one of the several companies involved). If I was an Olsen fan I'd say they dodged a bullet.

To be honest, I was surprised this got a British cinema release (with its horrid reception when it came out in the US last year, and given how The Perfect Man and Raise Your Voice fared - the latter went direct to DVD in the UK...). Though it isn't really the Hilton sisters send-up it looks like, this riches-to-rags-and-back-to-riches tale has one major flaw for a comedy - it isn't funny. It isn't all that satirical (Haylie's character is the boyfriend of a guy on an OC-type show called Long Island which he promotes endlessly - The Valley it ain't, as Summer Roberts would no doubt agree), but that's okay; it gets in plugs for E!, but that's okay too (at least they didn't make up a fake entertainment channel); it just isn't funny. It actually works better as a drama than as comedy, with our heroes becoming less shallow and digging to clear their deceased dad's name, etc., and that makes it a bit more watchable than it otherwise might be... but with its mildly offensive undertones, silly turns (like Hilary being arrested as a prostitute and thrown in jail with the real things - who she promptly gives lessons in makeup to!) and the inexplicable presence of Anjelica Huston, it's probably just as well that I didn't pay for this. And don't get me started on the Duff sisters' rendition of that Madonna song (makes their version of "Our Lips Are Sealed" for A Cinderella Story seem like a classic).

But like I said, Hilary beats her sister - and it kills 90 or so minutes harmlessly enough. She's done worse (The Perfect Man, anyone? Which I did pay to see). And as a bonus, she definitely looks a hell of a lot better than she did in Cheaper By The Dozen 2 - the comedy may be synthetic, but the sexiness of Hilary's legs is real. There is a case to be made for her best movie to date still being The Lizzie McGuire Movie, mind.

1 comment:

The Archivist said...

Hilary Duff is one of those girls I don't know if I like or not, but still somehow she attracts me sexually.

Hmm.