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Movie Review: Sydney White

Sydney White
Directed by Joe Nussbaum
Written by Chad Creasey

The above photo is of Sydney White’s lead Amanda Bynes; I couldn’t find any photos from the movie itself, meaning this is likely a dreaded “not screened for critics” movie.

Bynes has a fanbase not unlike that of Hilary Duff.  She tries to do things that are positive at all times (probably even more so), and her movies all have that same self-awareness to them.  Bynes is largely a comedienne, and that self-awareness can be awfully painful at times when she’s being funny.  For the most part, though, she’s very likable and down-to-earth, and she fills a niche as the anti-Lindsay/Paris/Britney.

In the harmless, straightforward Sydney White, Bynes plays an updating of Snow White.  She goes to college to rush the same sorority her dead mother did, but things have obviously changed for the worse.  The sorority is led by plastic blonde barbie dolls, namely Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), who doesn’t like the fact that her supposed “boyfriend” Tyler (Matt Long) seems to prefer Sydney over her. 

Eventually, Rachel finds a way to disclude Sydney from the group, and she becomes an outcast, finding a bunch of nerds (7 of them in fact) at a would-be frat called The Vortex that is in danger of being condemned.  We have “Sneezy” Lenny (Jack Carpenter), “Grumpy” Gurkin (Danny Strong), “Bashful” Jeremy (Adam Hendershott), “Sleepy” Embele (Donte Bonner), “Happy” Terrence (Jeremy Howard), “Dopey” George (Arnie Pantoja), and “Doc” Spanky (Samm Levine).  She takes them under her wing and they plan to beat Rachel for student council president, but of course Rachel is devious and plans to undermine everything she does.

Taking the place of the magic mirror is a hot-or-not website, with Sydney getting uncomfortably close to Rachel for the top honors, and ultimately the message is not only do you have to have good looks but you also gotta be nice.

Hey, this is a movie not really in need of any critical review.  It’s aimed at a certain audience and they’ll eat it up, and I thought it did a good job for that audience.  I certainly hope Bynes is more of a draw than the out-of-control starlets we’ve been seeing lately.  Here’s hoping this at least outgrosses I Know Who Killed Me.  Not a lofty goal, but satisfying nonetheless.  

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