The In Crowd

2000, Movie, PG-13, 108 mins

Review

IN CROWD, THE
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For a movie, this makes a great drinking game: Last one to say "I hate Brittany!" when the movie's villainous sexpot dips her finger seductively into a pot of lip gloss has to swill a cosmopolitan in one gulp, or something of the kind. Poor little Adrien Williams (Lori Heuring) has been languishing in a mental hospital following an unfortunate incident involving her high school psychologist: When the object of Adrien's unrequited affections took official steps to discourage her, she smashed up the poor man's car with a hockey stick. But staff doctor Henry Thompson (Daniel Hugh Kelly) thinks Adrien got a bum rap, and arranges a conditional release. He uses his influence to get Adrien a job at the snooty Cliffmont Country Club, with the understanding that she'll be a model employee — no drinking, no drugs, no hanky panky — and that if she loses the gig, it's back to the booby hatch. But Adrien immediately falls in with the wrong crowd. Rather than making friends among the fresh-scrubbed staff, she starts hanging out with spoiled little rich bitch Brittany Foster (Susan Ward) and her gaggle of hard-partying, back-biting, oversexed trust-fund brats. In addition to being vain, frivolous snobs, Queen Brittany's buzzing little bees are clearly hiding something; people keep remarking sotto voce on Adrien's striking resemblance to someone named Sandra, and Brittany's best friend Kelly (Laurie Fortier) drops a series of none-too-subtle hints that Brittany is not to be trusted. Strange things start happening: Kelly has a mysterious accident, and Adrien regularly finds herself alone in deserted laundry rooms, scary basements and malfunctioning elevators, where the inevitable false scares ensue. The greatest mystery, though, is how this thoroughly trashy picture wound up opening theatrically, rather than going direct to video where its sleazy assets might have been appreciated. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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