MATERIAL GIRLS (2006)

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Elizabeth

I liked watching Lizzie McGuire when it was first on, but I must say I never felt a real need to see Hilary Duff in a movie (and I never saw the Lizzie McGuire movie[s]). She never seemed like a strong enough actress to carry a movie and I couldn’t really see her as anything else but a Lizzie McGuire-type of character. Material Girls supports this theory.

This time, her real-life sister, Haylie Duff, is thrown into the mix and proves herself to be less than helpful. They play Tanzania “Tanzie” Marchetta (Hilary) and Ava Marchetta (Haylie), heiresses to their dead father’s skin cosmetics line fortune. A scandal breaks that the company’s products cause major skin damage, causing the sisters’ assets to frozen and all of their “help” to be fired. To make themselves feel better, the sisters decide to put Tanzie’s skills to use (as she is apparently a chemistry genius) and give themselves a spa night, complete with face masks and scented candles. Which is all well and good, but here’s the thing though: I’ve met a good amount of people who are really skilled in chemistry and I can guarantee they all know one thing to be true: water puts out fire. And given that the whole “stop, drop, and roll” thing is taught so early on to children, I’m pretty sure the concept of water putting out fire is taught prettyyyyyyyy early on. And while I don’t know this for sure, I’m fairly confident a chemist would know how flammable nail polish remover is and I’m nearly positive that any female who has had her nails painted pretty much her whole life would know that, too. But alas, Tanzie knocks over some nail polish remover, which comes in contact with a scented candle, and suddenly their living room coffee table is up in flames. Instead of getting some water or a fire extinguisher or calling 911, the girls scream and run away. Literally. That’s what the picture is from. They scream, grab some clothes and bags, run out of the house and drive to a hotel as their house burns down for no reason. Because these are intelligent, capable adults that you really want to watch do anything.

They can’t stay at a hotel because they have no money, so they decide to go to the apartment of their former housekeeper. Now, it’s important to note that their former housekeeper, Inez, does not live in the projects. She lives in what appears to be a pretty standard, lower middle-class apartment complex. While walking up to Inez’s door, the sisters pass by a man on his way to his door. The man doesn’t even look at them, but he is black. So what do the girls do?

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Look at him, scream, and run up the stairs! Okayyyyyyyy!!

Anyway, everyone with the company is telling the girls they need to sell it to Fabiella (Anjelica Huston . . . why??), which will earn them $60 million each. Not to mention Fabiella tells the sisters that as “one businesswoman to businesswomen,” she will take care of their careers, including employing Tanzie as a chemist (without going to school for it). And, for the record, Fabiella is not evil. But because the sisters are stubborn and stupid, they turn her down. Instead, they decide to get to the bottom of the scandal and enlist help from love interests: for Tanzie, it’s Rick, a lab assistant that she continually mistakes for a valet; and for Ava it’s Henry (Lukas Haas), a lawyer who seems to at first only interact with Ava because it’s amusing, and then realizes she is putty in his hands as long as he stands closely to her and speaks softly to her. Henry isn’t evil, either, but it’s so funny to me how his character is obviously just putting the moves on Ava. Eventually we find out that Tommy (Brent Spiner . . . again, why??), the sisters’ father’s friend, is evil and is actually behind the scandal. So Tommy is fired and the company becomes more successful than ever, because I’m pretty sure that’s how businesses work.

Besides everything else wrong, including just the insane stupidity, Material Girls was written as if it took place in 2000. Examples: Fred Durst is mentioned, two members of Good Charlotte make a cameo, and the sisters are obsessed with Erin Brockovich (which came out in 2000). I like to think that this was written around 2000 but was just shelved for 6 years . . . but then one has to wonder what happened in 2006 that made this movie seem makeable?

This movie is such a total failure that it quickly moves past funny and straight into depressing.

Christopher

When we’re trying to figure out what to watch we generally watch Food Network/Cooking Channel in our apartment. When we eat, we are generally watching one of those as well. So it was recently that Haylie Duff, Hilary Duff’s sister, obtained her own show on one of those channels. I had no idea who she was other than that she looked a lot like Hilary Duff. Her show is boring but the worst part of it is the fact that it’s called The Real Girl’s Kitchen. Nothing about Haylie Duff is a “real girl.” She’s super rich and just hangs out with other rich people. And the show represents this. It’s just really funny to think that she feels what her life is on the show is what the modern woman experiences.

So with that in mind when we ran across Material Girls on HBO I absolutely wanted to watch it. I wanted to see what Haylie could do with a movie script. And really she did exactly what I expected. Fine but forgettable and to be honest she really didn’t seem to be terrible. Although all the acting was overshadowed by just the god-awful script. It was difficult to tell if anyone could act cause they had zero to work with.

The movie was bad. It was also very racist. Against blacks, there is a very strange scene where the girls run away in fear from a black man just going into his house, and they talk constantly about Hispanics being maids. So nothing about these characters are likable from any angle because they also can’t live on their own. They start a small fire in their home at one point and instead of calling 911 or trying to put it out they just leave. It’s hard to tell what’s supposed to be funny and not in this film because you just don’t like them in any situation.

I’m really glad we watched this movie though just to know how awful it was. It was a lot of fun to watch and make fun of because it had something in almost every scene.

 

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