A review of  New Best Friend” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *

Rating: R for nudity, lust,  language and drug use

Run Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

 

 

A hunky college senior puts it best when he proclaims that “sometimes bad things happen to good people”.  Yeah, such as this turkey.

Call it “Heathers” on speed.  At exclusive Colby University the privileged set are preparing themselves for the last semester of their senior year. Roommates Hadley Weston (Meredith Monroe), Sydney Connors (Dominique Swain) and Julianne McIntyre (Rachel True) lead a life of undergraduate hedonism, including great digs, fabulous clothes, hot guys, and all the illegal substances they can lay their hands on.  Since studies must periodically enter the picture, Hadley pairs up for a sociology project with the introspective Alicia Glazer (Mia Kirshner), a plain, brainy beauty from the other side of the tracks.

For personal reasons, the girls shelve their differences in order to ace the challenging project and win kudos for a well-deserved A.  Attempting to worm her way into the good graces of this hip clique, Alicia turns to the dark side of drugs and manipulation in order to feel truly good about herself.  When she lands in the hospital, the victim of a startling cocaine overdose, local sheriff Artie Bonner (Taye Diggs) launches a mysterious investigation that casts a suspicious shadow on the ostensibly untouchable coeds.

With a TV-movie-of-the-week budget and the most lowbrow performances of the year, it’s impossible to even categorize this as a smutty guilty pleasure.  The plot hinges on such university merriment as bulimia, rape, threesomes and drunken bacchanalias, but could have used some explicit carnal delights to liven up the DOA action.  Consistent armchair psychology (Daddy doesn’t love me, etc.) is an insult to the smarts of anyone 12-and-up, as is the implication that kids will be kids. 

When bad things happen to good people, indeed.  Taye Diggs (yum) plays the snoopy sheriff with a perpetual look of utter mortification, perhaps suffering from the knowledge that his career has bottomed out big-time.  Swain sluts it up with a dumb soft porn routine, Monroe is all bod and no brain, and Kirshner overplays her weird reinvention with corrupt glee. For more coed fun (or to rat out your own best friend!), check out the film’s website at www.psychoexbestfriend.com.