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Stars: Anne Hathaway, Freddy Rodriguez, Bijou Phillips, Raymond Cruz, Shiri Appleby, Channing Tatum

Director: Barbara Kopple

Even foul-mouthed and bare-breasted, Anne Hathaway can't escape her sweet-'n'-classy image in this teen drama that never strikes you as anything but phony.

She and Bijou Phillips play rich college girls with a yen to slum it in the Latino sub-strata of Los Angeles. They're just playing at being tough, but it all goes horribly wrong when Hector (Rodriguez) tells the girls they have to have sex with one or more of the gang members to join his crew.

The cast is impressive on paper, but such talented people as Laura San Giacomo, Michael Biehn, Sam Bottoms and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have scarcely anything to do in a drama that lacks the maturity and intensity required.

But it's the miscasting of Hathaway - who looks and sounds too old to be a college student - that imbues the whole project with a sense of unease. Stick to the day job, Anne. You're a great singer, too, so a remake of The Sound of Music surely beckons.

David Quinlan

USA/Germany 2005. UK Distributor: The Works. Colour.
85 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 27 Oct 2006