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JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE

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When three high school girls discover each has been "exclusively" dating campus hotshot John Tucker, they band together to humiliate him. Their proven strategy: Making over the dull girl to be his new conquest and subsequent comeuppance. Betty Thomas' muddled comedy of manners hopes for a satiric edge, a la Mean Girls, but misses that mark, landing squarely in Teen Movie High School. That's that well-appointed fantasy-ville where the students look 21, are totally hot, and all scenes take place in the gym, the hallway or some student's awesome mansion. Aiming for easy laughs, the film is an equal-opportunity offender: The girls we're meant to root for seem as awful as the titular cad. What sort of chick-empowerment film leaves you feeling sorry for the jerky guy? A gruesome death, such as in Carrie, might have livened things up, but alas, no killing, except another 90 minutes of my life. (AH)

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