Review coming from Contributor: Susan Quirk
How can I spend my money more wisely? Answer
I’m ugly. Why was God so unfair to me this way? Answer
What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
|Featuring:||Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff, Anjelica Huston, Brent Spiner, Lukas Haas, Maria Conchita Alonso|
|Producer:||Susan Duff, David Faigenblum, Milton Kim, Eve LaDue, Mark Morgan, Guy Oseary, Tim Wesley|
“It’s a short trip from the penthouse to the poorhouse.”
The saying, “you can never be too rich or too thin,” must be a favorite of the makers of “Material Girls.” Ultra-thin glamour sisters Tanzie (Hilary Duff) and Ava (Haylie Duff) are the heirs of Marchetta cosmetics, a wildly successful cosmetic company founded by their late father. Their involvement in the company (and apparently this movie) seems to be an excuse to wear an excessive amount of makeup and scandalous outfits showcased in endless forums.
When acting CEO of Marchetta Cosmetics, Tommy (Brent Spiner) suggests selling the company to rival cosmetic tycoon, Fabriella (Angelica Huston) following reports of faulty ingredients causing gruesome facial rashes, the girls are cut off from their charge accounts and left to sort things out. Extreme wealth and acclaimed beauty certainly has not bestowed any intelligence or common sense on the sisters as evidenced in scenes where they fumble around burning their house down and trying to figure out how to ride a bus.
When they are welcomed into the house of their former housekeeper (Maria Conchita Alonzo), they are surprised to learn that she has two small children that she has been separated from because they have not yet been allowed to immigrate. This revelation is the only moment of anything remotely interesting or story worthy in the entire film.
The Bible is clear on the issue of money and style: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon Earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:19-20) and “Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).
We expect the riches-to-rags and back-to-riches storyline to provide an opportunity for characters to develop and change perspective, shatter some stereotypes, or at least gain some depth, but our material girls, Tanzie and Ava, seem to gain validation of their supposed superiority being white, rich and skinny in America. While snooping around the corporate offices of Marchetta Cosmetics, the girls disguise themselves as janitors. They speak with exaggerated Hispanic accents and Tanzie has fixed her hair in a Latina style and wears tacky black lip liner. In addition, when the girls visit a former client who lives in a moderate middleclass neighborhood, the woman has fifteen cats in her dirty house. Again, on the city bus after fearing “people pee on bus seats” sure enough, the passengers are filthy, stinking creatures. References are made about people that eat Dominoes Pizza as being “white trash,” and a public unemployment clerk is obese and sneezing everywhere, thus Tanzie and Avia confirm that poor people are gross and beneath them.
For a PG-rated film geared toward girls aged ten to tweens, the content of this film was not only extremely inane, but also very inappropriate. There are club scenes with alcohol, a stereotypical gay character, tight cleavage-baring outfits, freak dancing, and too numerous to count exclamations of “Oh my God,” an exclamation of “sh*t happens,” a joke about Prozac, a strange reference to Marilyn Manson, and the phrase “screwier than Courtney Love.” Most offensive of all was a played-out scene where Tanzie wears an extremely low cut and pushed up outfit and repeatedly bends over seductively in front of the male attendant to gain entrance to a news studio.
This movie teaches young girls that using their sexuality is the only way to get what they want. Tanzie is arrested and assumed a prostitute, as well she should be. Her time in jail includes a disturbing scene with real detained prostitutes who begin to paw at her.
Skin-tight, bra revealing clothing was the standard uniform for ultra thin Tanzie and Ava. I cannot help but wonder how many teenaged girls in the audience who experienced pre-pubescence pudginess along with Miss Duff in her “Lizzy McGuire” days will think “Uh oh” when they go home and look in the mirror.
There is nothing material in “Material Girls” and very few laughs. Teen girls want a good story, characters they care about, and a touch of romance. “Material Girls” is a vacuous film, that almost makes a Mary Kate and Ashley video appear academic in comparison.
Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild