Movie Review: crazy/beautiful
Release Date: June 29, 2001
by Jonathan Sudduth
Published: July 2, 2001
USA, 2001 Buena Vista Pictures
Directed by John Stockwell
Kirsten Dunst as Nicole Oakley
Jay Hernandez as Carlos Nuñez
Bruce Davison as Tom Oakley
Lucinda Jenney as Courtney Oakley
Taryn Manning as Maddy
Additional information available
at the Internet Movie Database.
There is a whole lot to like in this teen romance.
Considering the genre -- not to mention that whole odd title --
"crazy/beautiful" has two youthful stars who put a whole lot on the line
for love while attempting to dodge so many steriotypes. While only
partly successful in that endevour Jay Hernandez and Kirsten Dunst portray
characters we are finally interested in.
The story of this pair of racially split teens is
packed with issues leading to perhaps a more lengthy film than I would have
liked. Dunst has family problems including her Senator father and his new
bitch of a wife. Hernandez has family problems, though his seem to
be more etched out of his Mexican heratage than anything else. And
then we have the issues surrounding their romantic coming together. How
will friends of both react when Crazy meets Beautiful?
Dunst has come a long way from "Interview With a Vampire."
While many would like to take pot shots at her stinker roles, I'm here
to boost her place in one role that made me admire her: Another teen
melodrama called "The Virgin Suicides." Now in this most recent production
there isn't a visionary like the daughter of Francis Ford Coppula, but Dunst
still has just as much, if not more, pep and kenetic energy just ready to
burst when tapped by Hernandez.
As for his acting talent, there is only praise there
too. After all, it has GOT to be difficult being the only secure and
stable part of the cast. And it would be an absolute sin if I failed to mention
his stunningly attractive looks, right?
(An additional note I'd like to add right here upon reflection is super praise
for the character Taryn Manning plays in Maddy. While it is rather
unfortunate that her relationship with Dunst' character fades into the background
when the love story evolves, Manning has twenty times the control, timing,
and punch as her costars. I am really looking forward to more of what she
is capable of in her upcoming pictures.)
So where does "crazy/beautiful" go wrong?
Meandering along in the middle and using entirely too much relationship
blossoming filler, time starts being the biggest killer. While both
of our characters become beloved by the audience, there is so much energy
in the first part it gets as wasted as Dunst's character often is throughout
Still, in the sea of bad and meaningless teen movies,
"crazy/beautiful" actually says something to the audience. And even
though that may be the same message most teen movies say, this movie tries
a different, more crazy and beautiful approach that I couldn't help but
This review originally appeared on
Queer & The Fat Guy's Movie