John Tucker Must Die
Bottom Line: Lobotomy. L-O-B-O-T-O-M-Y. Lobotomy. I need one.
Directed by: Betty Thomas
Starring: Arielle Kebbel, Ashanti, Jesse Metcalfe
There are three aspects to a comedy that should immediately tell you it’s something terrible: 1. It’s unrealistic. 2. Laughing takes effort. 3. By the ending, you are convinced you have psychic abilities because you predicted the way the film would close within the first five minutes. Alongside all the terrible performances and countless scenes of humiliation that is bound to elicit lots of eye-rolling, JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE is a film defined in its entirety by those three components.
The film starts out with a narration from the high school-aged main character–an unnecessary head-scratcher, as we hear very, very little narration throughout the whole rest of the film–about how she loooves John Tucker so much. (Oh, boy! As if we even care!) It then continues on to reveal that Tucker, though apparently attractive, is a “chick magnet”, and he forms relationships with countless girls all at once. Later, after an incident with volleyball rough-housing, three ex-girlfriends (pardon me, I meant SOON-TO-BE ex-girlfriends) of John Tucker and the main character, who has never dated before in her life, serve detention together. As the teacher only comes in for a mere twenty seconds, the three ex-girlfriends (I mean, SOON-TO-BE) have a chance to realize that they are all being dated simultaneously, something the other girl already knew, and that he really isn’t that great of a boyfriend, anyhow. (Gee, that’s what you get for looking at body and not mind, nimrods!) From there on, the film describes an overly long and excruciatingly unrealistic depiction of the three girls’ executed plot for revenge against John Tucker.
Maybe if this were something like a two-minute YouTube video staging the humiliation of a high school ladies’ man, it would be watchable and even possibly cute. But with 89 minutes (praise the Lord it’s no longer!) of behind-the-scenes filled with eye-rollers and insiders on girl talk that are supposed to be funny, the humiliation scenes (especially the one in which the girls cause John Tucker to break out crying in front of the whole school during a basketball game) just don’t even remotely work out. The film just tries and tries (and tries) ever so terribly hard, but it never gets anywhere.
The most dreadful thing about this film was it’s overall tendency to be unrealistic. For example, if this were actual, somebody would have at some point found out about who was behind the whole “revenge” gist, but it seems the only detention (or consequence at all!) in this film is prior to all those incidents.
If making bad films were a crime, there would even be signs up today that said: “WANTED: JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE (THE FILM, NOT A PERSON) – REWARD AMOUNTS TO THE FILM’S BOX OFFICE REVENUE–USE IT TO PAY BACK WHOEVER WASTED THEIR MONEY”.