The feature length version of Britney’s (You drive Me) Crazy music video this week and I’m pretty stoked for it, I won’t lie. I’m all for feel good at the moment, after an incredibly emotional week.
I’m going to try and cut out the waffle this week and get straight to it. That’s why you’re here, no?
Drive Me Crazy (1999)
IMDB Synopsis: A high school girl must find a substitute date to escort her to the prom.
This film. I thought I hadn’t seen it but I totally have and perhaps quite recently, which tells you almost all you need to know about it.
Nicole (Hart) is one of the elite and part of the Centennial Committee at school. She has her eye on the Captain of the basketball squad (course) but there’s a certain social etiquette that must be honoured before these two shining stars can actually get together.
Just as Brad (Gabriel Carpenter) is about to ask her to the Centennial dance (which she is helping to organise), there’s a chance meeting between him and a rival school’s head cheerleader. This budding romance derails Nicole’s perfect plans altogether, leaving her in the devastating position of not having a date to the dance.
Luckily for Nicole, she lives next door to Chase Hammond (Grenier), a classmate she has known since they were little fuckers and before Junior High callously sorted them into separate social categories. Chase is a socially conscious type with an activist girlfriend (Larter) and a small group of misfit friends. There’s a class system theme running throughout, FYI.
Chase is somewhat smug as these types tend to be but he’s generally a good egg. They all are. The meanies are the jocks and Nicole’s gang, though Nic straddles both groups with relative ease. (Of course she does, she’s Sabrina the Motherfucking Teenage Witch)!
When Chase is dumped by Dulcie and is heartbroken about it (I forget why but there’s an older dude involved), Nic sees a mutually beneficial opportunity for them both. If they go to the dance together, Chase can win Dulcie back and she can avoid becoming a social leper without a date. Honestly, is it that big a deal?
Nicole is insistent that it must look real though so the newly acquainted friends begin hanging out. First stop is a half-hearted makeover for Chase (change of shirt and brushed hair) which reveals him to be super hot (shocker). He’s also surprisingly good at adapting to his new group, charming the jocks with his opinions on sport and being adorable to the girls.
Nicole’s secret man-eater BFF, Alicia (Susan May Pratt) btw totally offers to give Brad what he really really wants (sexually) while slagging off Nicole behind her back and saying she’s all talk (aka frigid). Alicia is kind of a horrible jealous bitch but by far the most fun character. Look, there’s not much to work with here.
So that’s pretty much the gist of this instantly forgettable teen flick. Nicole and Chase surprise themselves by getting on really well, there’s a dead mother back story for Chase and a negligent father one for Nicole (to add depth, yo).
Alicia the Slut* kisses Chase at a party making Nicole realise that her feelings for him go way beyond their deal, while Dulcie plays right into his (now suspiciously reluctant) hands. She also finds out that his mum died of cancer, so the pity vote doesn’t hurt him.
One of Chase’s friends, Ray (Kris Park) reveals he has a (respectful) thing for Nicole (but is willing to stand back while she fulfils her true romantic destiny), while ‘Designated’ Dave (Mark Webber), the high school’s sober one-man taxi service has his own story line involving a girl online (like in the dial-up era!). Cu-ute.
It all comes together at the dance (which is so unusual for a teen movie), where truths are told and the right people get together (or do they? I was routing for Ray). Bad Dad realises he’s had his priorities all wrong all this time (also why was he at the dance? Weird) and there’s a really creepy admission made at the end by Chase’s dad/Nicole’s mom.
There aren’t really any questions this week because there’s not a lot of mystery here. It’s pretty much a colour-by-numbers high school movie with a happy ending.
I actually like this the more I think about it because it’s just so nice. I guess I need more than that to give a shit and that’s okay.
Melissa Joan Hart is absolutely delightful, making me miss both Sabrina and Clarissa Explains It All (then I remember Melissa & Joey and I’m done again). She’s peak adorable and looks lovely in a halter top. Adrian Grenadine in contrast is pleasant to look at (though those intense blue eyes kind of freak me out) but he’s not got the edge I would have liked him to bring to the party.
There are a few interesting comments about how the popular kids treat people, Ray or Dave is making a documentary on this very subject that humiliates the popular kids when he plays it in class. I was bored silly by then.
Alicia is a little bit damaged and therefore probably the realest person there (we all knew one like her) and then there’s the heart to heart between Chase and Dee Vine (Keri Lynn Pratt) where she compares life before she lost loads of weight to now and wonders if she’s even that happy after all. It’s maybe the deepest conversation we witness.
Worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon for sure but I sort of miss the demons/witches.
My Rating: 2.5/5. Nice but won’t change your world.
Did this Drive Jill Crazy (in the happy sense) or would she slag it off behind it’s back for not putting out? Find out for yourselves here ❤