Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier, Stephen Collins, Mark Metcalf, William Converse-Roberts, Faye Grant, Susan May Pratt, Kris Park, John Schultz | Written by Todd Strasser (novel), Rob Thomas
This movie is well titled. “Drive Me Crazy” may do just that for some parents. Based on the novel “How I Created My Perfect Prom Date” by Todd Stasser, “Drive Me Crazy” is your standard-fare high-school-dance film. You know right from the start that the movie will end at the big dance.
Not suprisingly, most of the audience were young, female teens. Certainly the target audience in mind. The film is built around the popularity of Britney Spears and Melissa Joan Hart (TV's “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”).
There are many themes that may drive you crazy: the teen alcohol abuse, the typical PG-13 language (one use of the “f” word and several sexual innuendos), plus the portrayal of all of the main characters coming from broken homes. In the home of one character, actor Stephen Collins of TV’s “Seventh Heaven” plays the role of a deadbeat dad. This was a disappointment for me as I admire his role on television as a loving husband, father, and Reverend. In one scene, another father confronts Chase (the lead male teen character) about his drug use, but does not put a stop to it. Instead, he condones it as long as he knows about it.
“Drive Me Crazy” may best be viewed through the eyes of the character Dave (Mark Weber). I would not applaud his use of cyber-dating, but he does establish some values to the film. In other positive aspects, designated driving is strongly encouraged, and the message of abstinence is suggested in relationships. Perhaps the best part of this predictable movie is the issue of self-image problems explored, something that is very real in youth culture.
I would encourage parents to either attend this film with your teen (as I did), or view it separately with a following discussion with your teen. It can be lukewarmly recommended, with notice taken to the above reservations.