Cruel Intentions (1999)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Teen Movie, Melodrama  |   Release Date - Mar 5, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A profane, wicked, barely believable but also oddly enjoyable teen variation on Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions is a truly guilty pleasure until it begins to take itself far too seriously. Writer/director Roger Kumble's take on this tale of decadence is light on subtlety, but takes the proceedings to a giddy limit, and adapts the story with more panache than it probably deserves in a setting so inherently shallow. The young cast is well-appointed, especially Sarah Michelle Gellar, who relishes the opportunity to play a bitch-goddess manipulator, though the drippy romantic angle of the story is far too melodramatic for a movie that delights in being so biting. The movie doesn't score many points for originality, but at least offers a bit more than the standard teenage picture, especially in its flagrant vulgarity, some of which is quite funny. A mid-size hit in theaters, the film has the dubious distinction of spawning a television series that never aired, the doomed-from-the-start Manchester Prep.