Uptown Girls

51VVGM0K3RL. SL160  Uptown Girls

Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning, Heather Locklear. A carefree rock ‘n’ roll princess takes a job as a nanny for a super-serious nine-year-old girl-as they teach each other to act their respective ages! 2003/color/92 min/PG-13/widescreen.Brittany Murphy uses her ditzy/sexy combination to maximum effect in Uptown Girls. Molly Gunn (Murphy) is an heiress living off the estate of her dead rock star father–until an unscrupulous accountant embezzles everything and Molly has to get a job. After a fail

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3 Responses to “Uptown Girls”

  1. Lawrance M. Bernabo Says:
    27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A formula film that pulls together a pretty good ending, February 20, 2004
    Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Uptown Girls (DVD)

    In terms of the basic plot “Uptown Girls” is totally predictable. Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy) is a spoiled little rich girl who needs to grow up when she is forced to go out and get a job for the first time in her life. Ray Schleine (Dakota Fanning) is an 8-year-old even littler little rich girl who is not only a hypochondriac and wise beyond her years but who needs to learn how to be a kid. Of course circumstances throw them together when Molly becomes Ray’s nanny. There is the comic period of butting heads, the tentative beginnings of friendship, the point at which things blow up big time, and the heartfelt reconciliation. But one of the reasons that formula films like this continue to be made is because more often than not they work. The result is not a great film, but an enjoyable one where the best part of the film is the finale, where between them writers Julia Dahl, Mo Ogrodnik, Lisa Davidowitz and Allison Jacobs come up with a creative way of bringing together major plot elements.

    The twist with Molly Gunn is that she is the daughter of a rock ‘n’ roll legend, guitarist Tommy Gunn. Her parents were killed in a plane crash when she was about Ray’s age and she has been living off the residuals. In her apartment there is a shrine in which all of her father’s guitars are displayed, including the one on which he wrote his biggest hit, “Molly Smiles,” the song that Molly can no longer bear to here. Molly might be spoiled, but she has a kind heart and not a mean bone in her body. When her accountant steals all of her money and disappears she has her friends, Ingrid (Marley Shelton) and Huey (Donald Faison), who stay true and try to help her survive in the real world (I liked not having to do deal with her friends forgetting her now that she is broke). She also likes Neal Fox (Jesse Spencer), the young musician who plays at her birthday party. The only problem is that he is 274 days in his sobriety and wants to be celibate the first year. But he too is inspired by Molly to write a song that becomes a hit.

    Ray’s mother, Roma Schleine (Heather Locklear) runs a record label, which, of course, signs Neal. This also explains why Ray needs a Nanny and we already know why the kid’s attitude has a long procession of nanny’s coming and going. But beyond her immaculate room and her preoccupation with germs and disease, Ray has her own father issue: he suffered a stroke and is now a vegetable set up in the library of the apartment. She seldom talks about her dad and she never visits him. To Molly, this is just wrong, but she does not give the obvious speech. Ray is smart enough to know what she would say and Molly bides her time until the time comes to say the right thing. In the counter-part to that scene that comes shortly afterwards, Molly and Ray communicate a whole range of emotions without either one of them even saying a word. Films like this rarely let silence speak so well on the behalf of the characters.

    Dakota Fanning was the best thing in “Taken,” and after her solid performance in “I Am Sam” it is nice to see her do a more comedic role in this film. Count me in the growing list of those who think she could well be the Jodi Foster of her generation (to wit, she is better than Jodi Foster was at this age and you have the sense that she can make the transition from child star to adult star). Brittany Murphy, who was wasted in “Just Married” and was asked to do something decidedly different in “8 Mile,” sinks her teeth into this role. She has the ditzy parts down pat, but it is the honest moments that she shares with both Ray and Roma that she achieves her best grace notes in the film. She should get a lot of opportunities to do more romantic comedies and as long as they have some basis in the real world and do not require her character to go over the top, she should thrive in such roles.

    Again, I want to applaud the creativity shown at the end of the film. Coming up with a payoff at the end of a film like this is difficult, because you need something that brings the characters together in a happy ending. What I like about this ending is that it achieves this without the characters involved ever making physical contact, by involving at least a half-dozen key plot elements, and, most importantly, by having the song we have been waiting almost the entire movie to hear be as good as it was supposed to be. When you watch the film a second time pay attention to how the music is set up during the auction scene. There might not be enough new here to make this a great film, but director Boaz Yakin has made “Uptown Girls” a nicely crafted formula film that more than meets our expectations.

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  2. General Breadbasket Says:
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A Curious Comedy, July 2, 2006
    This review is from: Uptown Girls (DVD)

    Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning and a pig called Mu star in the curious comedy “Uptown Girls”, directed by Boaz Yakin. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, I thought. There were parts I liked, parts I hated, parts I was intrigued by, and parts that just left me baffled. Overall, I liked it though.

    Molly (Brittany Murphy), is the daughter of a late rock star, and lives off his wealth, in decadence, within a large apartment, along with her pet pig Mu. She is fairly superficial, as are her friends, and Molly’s rather childish too. Sometime after her 22nd birthday, her late father’s manager runs off with all the money she’d been living from, leaving her with nothing. She is kicked out of her apartment and has to find a job. She ends up becoming a nanny to “Ray” (Dakota Fanning), an uptight, smart alecy, germophobe of a little girl, the daughter of a wealthy record executive. They are certainly an odd couple, and some comic scenes follow, but its not all laughs. As the two girls spend time together, there are many a touching and dramatic moment as they realise they have a lot in common, both being a little eccentric, both being the daughters of wealthy families, and both having certain tragedies in their lives they’re yet to cope with.

    I wouldn’t exactly call this a straight ahead comedy. Though there is a love interest for Molly as well, a Morrissey-esque rock singer (Jesse Spencer) she meets at her birthday party, I wouldn’t call this a romantic comedy either, as this fellow isn’t the main focus of the film, and their relationship isn’t exactly conventional. Neither of them really seem interested in each other, yet they come together, on again off again. The whole film was just this kaleidescope of elements, tumbling around within the plot.

    Though I was a little put off at first, I found this film fascinating. It was interesting to see characters first potrayed as parodies show a depth later on, while characters who seemed more three dimensional later showed a shallower side. No one here was exactly a carciature, but no one again was exactly completely real. It was a refreshing mix of the two, and I think they all pulled it off fairly well.

    Special features include a quite large selection of deleted and alternate scenes, including a sex scene or two for some reason, as well as a behind the scenes featurette with interviews with the actors and director Boaz Yakin, a featurette about the fashion of the film, a montage of stills, the original movie trailer and a music video for “Time” by Chantal Kreviazuk, which looks pretty standard for a movie soundtrack music video (shots of singer singing interdispersed with footage from the film, etc). I would have preferred to see a music video for the songs Jesse Spencer’s rock singer character sings, I quite liked those, they were funny and catchy, one of my favorite parts of the film.

    An intriguing comedy, got me thinking by the end of it. Worth a look.

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  3. Nelly Marie Says:
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Love it, October 26, 2005
    This review is from: Uptown Girls (DVD)

    I loved this movie!! I laughed and cried. I watched it with my 24 year old brother and he liked it too! He could figure out the ending, but then again he watches a lot of movies! Its such a good movie you just need to watch it!

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