Cruel Intentions – Throwback Thursday

Intro to… Cruel Intentions
What do you do when you are young, rich, intelligent, and beautiful? Whatever the hell you want.

Cruel Intentions is a story about two step-siblings that use their affluence and good looks to live a hedonistic lifestyle filled with decadence and debauchery. They live in a world where status and reputation is everything. Hurt it, or simply stand in the way, and they will take extreme actions to destroy you.

The Plot
It is summer and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Philippe) is bored. He just finished his last project, publicly humiliating his therapist for overcharging him, and is in need of a new one. He finds it in Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). Not only is Annette the daughter of Sebastian’s new high school headmaster, she is also a public advocate of abstinence claiming that people should abstain from the act of love until they actually are in love. She is the perfect target to boost his reputation.

Proud of his self-imposed challenge he goes home to meet up with his stepsister Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and brags about his new project. She scoffs at him and says that not even he would be able to pull this off. Kathryn later drops by Sebastian’s room to propose a wager: Sebastian’s vintage 1956 Jaguar Roadster, one of the sexiest cars ever produced, against the one thing he has never had: her. Sebastian smiles, the bet is on.

Should I Watch It?
Cruel Intentions is a love story that does not focuses on love. It is about corruption, revenge, lust, and depravity. It is about two co-dependent sociopaths and the train wreck that follows when they grow apart. This all makes for a dark but entertaining story.

The acting in the movie is all over the place. It has some very strong moments and some deplorably bad ones. The chemistry between Philippe and Gellar is much better than between Philippe and Witherspoon, which shows in the performances.

Sarah Michelle Gellar puts in an interesting performance. Kathryn is seductive and malicious. She is obviously evil yet at the same time inspiring. She is a woman struggling against a world that has set expectations on how she should behave that contradict with who she really is. The way she copes with this challenge is cruel and immoral, but her struggle is relatable.

Cruel Intentions is one of those films you either love or hate due to the nature of its protagonists. If you are drawn towards the darker side of what people can do you will appreciate this movie, if not there is a good chance you will be offended and/or appalled by it. Me, I found it hugely entertaining.

Yes, watch it.

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