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Uptown Girls

4 out of 10

Inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's

Written by first time screenwriter, Alison Jacobs, Uptown Girls stars Britney Murphy. It is a story about party-all-night, spoiled New York socialite Molly, wealthy daughter of late famous rock star Gunn. After finding her inheritance has been stolen by shifty accountant, Molly's carefree life comes to an end as she is forced to find a real job for the first time in her life. With luck she finds work as a nanny to the daughter of music executive Roma Schleine (Healther Locklear), and havoc ensues as the two lock horns and battle each other for control. Molly learns to adapt to her vast change in lifestyle, depend on herself and give back something to others, while ultimately forming a strong friendship and bond with her charge along the way.

Boaz Yakin ("Remember the Titans"), he meets Directed by the movie also stars Donald
Faison ("Clueless"), Marley Shelton ("Sin City," "Pleasantville") and Aussie soap heartthrob Jesse Spencer (Billy "Neighbours") in supporting roles of Molly's friends and love interest budding indie musician Neal. While most of the film's performances are immemorable and even downright bad, Fanning is exceptional and impressive as the overly responsible, germ obsessed Ray. Afraid of losing her father, who is ill in a coma, and mother, who is consistently absent from her daughter's life, she is captivating, believable and is a gem in an otherwise unfortunately dismal movie.

Marked by exceptionally two-dimensional and incredibly irritating characters, a bland script and choppy plot, Uptown Girls drones on for much of it's length, with the majority of enjoyable scenes being only the ones starring Fanning. With the exception of a powerful moment on a trip with Molly to the fair at Coney Island, the movie generally lacks focus, a strong storyline and any entertainment value. The actors, all known for better performances, seem to have little attachment to their roles or the audience (Locklear in particular) and are mired in a strange socialite world that doesn't seem to represent either the music industry or upper class New York, but instead drifts about like a coma-like dream possibly related to Ray's father's character. Perhaps more successful if centred around Ray, the film is too focused Molly, who, even though the main character, with her penchance for being incredibly self obsessed, is also one of the least appealing.

Described succinctly as "a linty old sour ball" by the Milwakee Journal Sentinel, first time screenwriter Allison Jacobs was inspired by films such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and Annie Hall and wrote the script seeking to tell a New York story with all the glamour and romance of old films. Not succeeding even remotely on this level, especially since you would hardly know this film was set in New York, the relationship between Molly and Ray makes Uptown Girls watchable, but the best part has to be the end when you know the torture is finally over.

Best left somewhere to gather dust

Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies