Cinemasochist Review: From Justin to Kelly
You asked for it, jerks. You made me watch From Justin to Kelly: the Tale of Two American Idols. And I watched it. And my wife watched it too, and my dog.
It was not the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
Let’s be clear: this movie is a ball of crap that’s been deep fried in a pool of vomit. It has a wretched plot — an uppity Texas girl meets a laid-back party guy during a Spring Break in Florida. It has a wretched cast — neither Justin Guarini nor Kelly Clarkson can act, not really (including her SNL sketches). It has an absolutely wretched, horrible and evil choreographer, who should never, ever be allowed to do anything with dance again, EVER. Don’t believe me? Watch this, suckas.
Sigh. OK, so let me sum up the “plot.” Kelly, playing a shy-but-determined Texas girl named, er, Kelly, is suckered into going to Florida for spring break by her two friends, who subsequently ditch her and relentlessly attempt to sabotage her relationships. Justin Guarini, meanwhile, plays an entrepreneur named “Justin” who earns his college tuition by hosting spring break bacchanalia with his loser friends, one of which is a pathetic womanizer partyboy and the other is the caricature of a parody of a computer geez. Hilarity ensues! Justin is immediately in deep smit with Kelly, who in turn gives Justin her phone number. He immediately loses said number and Kelly’s bitchy betrayer of a friend gives Justin her number instead, telling him that it’s Kelly. The entire back-and-forth between them consists of a bizarre texting relationship between Justin and Kelly’s friend, punctuated by occasional real-life escapades between the two where they try to overcome their differences. Oh, and they lip-sync a lot.
In true stupid spring break movie form, every character must be in a relationship, and so Kelly’s bitchy friends each pursue love; one (the token black character) falls in love with a local busboy and literally ruins his life. Likewise, Justin’s friends desperately seek a party and love. Will they ever find happiness?!?!!?
Who cares. There’s not an ounce of chemistry between any of the characters; Justin and Kelly have the romantic attraction of a house spider and the sole of my shoe. They were clearly coerced into making this mess of a movie and hate every minute of it. Fortunately, the director, writer, set designer and stylist also hate what they are doing, because the film is poorly shot, makes no sense, looks God-awful and Kelly’s hair goes from hum-drum to a full-on WTF!! dreadlock/cornrow one-two hair punch in the face.
So, both Kelly and Justin can sing — American Idol showed us that both have relative talent in that field. But talent in one arena does not justify a crime against society like this misfire of a musical. At times during the filming I wondered whether this was a deliberate attempt, almost Prince-like, to escape from under an onerous record label contract by putting out the worst possible product. Kim Fuller, the writer, is also responsible for Spice World and various S Club 7 fiasco movies. Robert Iscove, the director, has put out a whole legacy of sub-par movies, from Firestarter 2 to the Freddie Prinze, Jr. masterpiece She’s All That. Travis Payne, the choreographer, also befouled the dancing of Coyote Ugly. In other words, folks From Justin to Kelly is a perfect storm of crapitude.
Worst musical I’ve ever seen? Yes. It was terrible. Eye-gouging, scream-at-the-TV terrible. From Clarkson’s soul-sucking rendition of “Vacation” at the beginning to the ensemble’s pathetically soulless version of “That’s the Way I Like It,” the movie was an awful corporate-America pukefest. It was just catchy enough to linger in my mind for days afterwards, and I will never forgive you for it.