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Material Girls


Stars: Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff, Anjelica Huston, Lukas Haas, Brent Spiner, Maria Conchita Alonso

Director: Martha Coolidge

I’ll resist the near-overwhelming temptation to call this tame teen comedy a duff movie. Real-life sisters Hilary and Haylie are spoiled siblings living the high life on the proceeds of their late father’s cosmetics company until real life (well, Hollywood-style real life) kicks in - and Spiner, who has been running the show while the girl run wild, tells them “Our future is in the crapper” and tries to railroad a sale to arch rival Huston (enjoyably overplaying her cliched role like an exaggerated Cruella De Vil). And Hilary and Haylie end up broke and have to learn what life is like without endless cash and having their every vapid whim catered for.

Lines like Haylie’s “I’ve gained two pounds since I’ve been poor” pass for wit, Coolidge works valiantly to bring the pallid proceedings to life, the Duff sisters follow the dramatic tradition of the Olsen Twins and are just about adequate given their material, while Spiner and Alonso (as the former housekeeper who gives the girls a home when they are on their uppers) deserve praise for not screaming at the camera.

Easily pleased teens might find mild entertainment: otherwise wait for the DVD and the fast forward button.

Alan Frank

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Verve Pictures. Technicolor.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

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

Review date: 26 Feb 2007