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Monte Carlo


Stars: Selena Gomez, Kate Cassidy, Leighton Meester, Andie MacDowell, Brett Cullen, Cory Monteith, Luke Bracey

Director: Thomas Bezucha

Here’s a sweet (maybe a tad too sugary for cynical cinemagoers) fairy tale for younger teenagers who should enjoy the Cinderella-style story of small-town Texas teen Gomez who travels to Paris with her two friends Meester, sent by Gomez’s mother to serve as a chaperone, and Cassidy. There, while not really enjoying a cut-price tour of the city, Gomez is mistaken for a self-centred British socialite and, before anyone can say ‘Thank you, Fairy Godmother!) the trio have been flown in a private jet to stay – free, of course, at a luxury hotel in Monte Carlo..

While it’s as predictable as a foreign film being critically overrated simply for being subtitled, Monte Carlo does what it says on the can. True, Gomez is about as credible as an upperclass Englishwoman as, say, Mackenzie Crook would be as James Bond. That said, Gomez and her friends are sweet and sassy, the inserted romances are what you would expect in a genre film like this, director and co-scenarist Thomas Bezucha maintains an impressively ‘straight’ approach to his fluffy material and the locations are attractively used.

And, for what it’s worth, the sad opening shot of a disused cinema in small town-Texas, gives the whole enterprise a somewhat scary new dimension as a predictor of the future of the medium.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox 2000). Colour by deluxe.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 20 Oct 2011