tek's rating: ½

Sydney White (PG-13)
IMDb; Morgan Creek; Revolution; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Universal; Wikipedia

Okay... well, the main reason to watch this is Amanda Bynes, who's always totally cute and funny and just downright likable. (In fact, she's one of the most adorkable girls ever.) Anyway, here she plays the title character, in a story which is a modern adaptation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." There's a bit of pathos in the fact that Sydney's mother had died when she was a kid, so she has spent much of her life being raised by her father (a plumber) and the guys he worked with on construction sites. At the start of the movie, she goes away to college, where her mother had been a sister in the Kappa Phi Nu sorority, which makes Sydney a legacy. She hoped she'd manage to develop a closer connection to her absent mother by following in her footsteps. However, the sorority is currently run by a girl named Rachel Witchburn (get it?), who takes an immediate disliking to Sydney when she sees her talking to Tyler Prince (get it?). Tyler is Rachel's ex-boyfriend, and the head of... eh, some fraternity, I forget its name.

Well, after surviving being hazed (along with all the other pledges, including a girl called Dinky, who was Sydney's original roommate and only real friend among the pledges), Rachel declares Sydney ineligible to join the sorority, for reasons I won't get into. But she now finds herself basically homeless (which seems weird to me, because I refuse to believe the college would just take away a sorority or fraternity pledge's dorm room before it was determined that they were accepted into the sorority or fraternity, but whatever; life sucks). In any event, there was this other house on campus called "the Vortex," where the undesirables all end up. One of the residents of the Vortex was a guy named Lenny, who Sydney had met in the course of one of the tasks the pledges had been given during their hazing. So now Sydney ends up moving into the Vortex herself, and the residents are all sort of representative of the Seven Dwarves (except here, of course, they're not dwarves but dorks). Lenny has a ton of allergies, so he's cast in the Sneezy role. There's a guy named Terrence who's constantly doing experiments, so he's supposed to be Doc. There's a guy called Gurkin who writes a sort of protest blog, so he's Grumpy. There's a guy called Spanky (for a reason which is only vaguely implied, but easily guessed), who represents Happy. There's a guy named Jeremy who pretty much only talks through a hand puppet, and he's Bashful. There's like a guy called Embele who represents Sleepy. And there's a guy named George who seems fairly simple, so he represents Dopey. Of course, no one in the movie calles any of these people by those Dwarvish names, nor is there any direct comparison drawn to the Snow White story. But it's all clear enough. (And there are a couple of lines in the movie that amusingly hark to lines from Snow White.)

Um, so anyway... the Vortex is pretty much falling apart, but there are no funds for repairs, because the Greek houses (mainly Rachel's sorority and Tyler's fraternity) are in charge of the student council (Rachel is the president). But Sydney motivates her new roommates to run for the council, creating a party called "Freedom to the 7th Power." There's also an online poll of who's the hottest girl on campus, and Rachel has always been #1. However, throughout the film, Sydney steadily climbs ever closer to the top of the list, which Rachel can't stand. And Tyler, who turns out to be a pretty decent guy, starts dating Sydney and eventually befriends the Vortex dorks, as well. And eventually, circumstances lead Sydney to decide to run against Rachel for student council president.

I don't want to say how it ends or give away any more details of the plot. But it was all fairly predictable, which is not to say it wasn't fun, because it was. Um... I feel like I have to say it's kind of a female-centric "Revenge of the Nerds," but I probably shouldn't make such comparisons, since I've never actually seen that movie, or any of its ilk, really. Nor do I have much desire to do so. I feel like I must've had more things I wanted to say while watching the movie, but by now I've forgotten. Probably not important. But I did find the sorority kind of scary, in the sense that there are people who actually have that mindset... not evil people, just... gah, I dunno what to say. Anyway, the dorks were kind of interesting, though I don't think we really got to know any of them very well. Honestly the only really interesting character in the movie is Sydney herself (and how can you not love a girl who brings a suitcase full of comic books to college with her?) Whatever, it's not a great movie, on any level. The humor is okay. The story is okay. The romance is okayish. And Bynes, as always, is fun to watch. The movie, in general, is fun while it lasts, and kinda sweet, but probably not all that memorable, in the long run. Though it is something I'd probably like to watch again someday, and there are a lot of reasonably good movies about which I can't say that....


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