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Material Girls Review


Weak
I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff. She's in no way a better actress than, say, Lindsay Lohan and her career doesn't have the occasional bursts of quality that dot Lohan's resume. But Duff has a puppy-ish goofiness and, more to the point, bold-outlined limitations on her acting abilities, that render her weirdly endearing. Most of her post-Disney movies have failed even as cheesy guilty pleasures, but I keep Netflixing those DVDs anyway, hoping for the best.

That kind of relativism -- hoping for the best possible Hilary Duff movie -- is what got me to see Material Girls in a theater (it wasn't screened for critics). It's a Duff movie through and through: Hilary's mom produced it, and her sister Haylie gets second billing. (Casting her less famous real-life sister as her movie sidekick is sweetly misguided, and therefore vintage Duff.) Hil-Hil and Hay-Hay play Tanzie and Ava Marchetta, spoiled heiresses whose cosmetics empire is threatened, landing them in the poorhouse. The opportunity for cheap culture-clash humor (see entitled rich girls adjust to poverty!) and cheap shots at Paris and Nicky Hilton (or even a fictional rehash of The Simple Life), combined with the participation of director Martha Coolidge (an expert in blonde bubbliness by virtue of having made Valley Girl years ago) makes Material Girls a candidate for a teenybopping good time. The peculiar, slapdash movie they made instead nonetheless eclipses most of the star's previous pre-teen pictures, because it finally drives a Duff vehicle into the land of beguilingly awful.

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Material Girls Movie Review

Material Girls Movie Review

I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff....

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