This conflicted teen comedy can't decide what it wants to be. Is Drive Me Crazy a mainstream piffle about a popular girl who turns her grungy next-door neighbor into a dream date? Or is it a sneaky critique of high school... more » conformity? Melissa Joan Hart (TV's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) is angling to get asked to an upcoming dance by a basketball star, but when her plans go awry, she turns to a childhood friend (Adrian Grenier from The Adventures of Sebastian Cole) in the hopes of avoiding total humiliation. Grenier wants to win back his recently lost girlfriend, so he agrees to Hart's total makeover plan to induce jealousy. Naturally, the scam turns into something sparky. Teen flicks always make things too glossy and upscale, but Drive Me Crazy somehow fumbles its design and ends up looking false and square. The movie initially presents Grenier's transformation as unqualified good, with no sense that anything he was doing before--political protests, alternative music, rebellious pranks--had any value. But as the plot unfolds, a few barbed twists undercut the good cheer, sneakily commenting on school spirit and popularity. These themes wrestle uncomfortably with the movie's production values, resulting in a curiously provocative jumble. This confusion is probably why the movie was only a modest success in theaters, but it's actually what makes Drive Me Crazy worth looking at now. --Bret Fetzer« less
Sharon F. (Shar) from AVON PARK, FL Reviewed on 6/8/2023...
A cute, funny teenage romance story.
Jenn D. (hairstylist101) from OREGON CITY, OR Reviewed on 4/8/2008...
Cute movie very romantic
Not as bad as I expected
K. M. Talha | Malaysia | 01/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Isn't it funny how some films don't quite fit their stereotypes? I settled down to watch Drive Me Crazy because I was in the mood to watch a mindless teen movie, and given that this film stars Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina The Teen Witch fame, I was expecting really more of the same. It doesn't help that the beginning of the film reinforces the stereotype (complete with cheesy pop background music, neon-lit opening titles and slow pan across a typical teenage girl's bedroom followed by Melissa answering the phone in her best "a la Sabrina" perky voice).
What I encountered was a film that is still very much rooted in the teen "prom" genre, but is slightly deeper and sophisticated (as well as more ponderous and slow-moving) than I expected. It's quite a biting and penetrating observation of the high school social hierarchy as well as the conflicting emotions of young love. Think of it as a more serious version of Clueless with a dash of Dangerous Liaisons thrown in.
Nicole Maris (Melissa Joan Hart) is a pretty and popular girl at the Timothy Zonin High School (definitely in the "in" crowd) who is organising a big formal dance celebrating the centenary anniversary of her school. She has the hots for school basketball star Brad (Gabriel Carpenter) and hopes he will be her date for the dance.
Neighbour and fellow classmate Chase Hammon (Adrian Grenier) is on the other side of the school social stratum. Sporting a "rebel without a cause" attitude and a grungy appearance, he hangs out with nerdy Ray (Kris Park) and "Designated Dave" (Mark Webber) - the latter so-nicknamed because he doesn't drink therefore he always chauffeurs the other kids when they are blind drunk and want to go back home after a party. At the beginning of the film, the three of them (masterminded by Chase) stage a prank involving putting coloured dye into the school sprinkler system which nearly gets them suspended.
Incidentally, Nicole and Chase used to be childhood friends but then grew apart into their different ways. Both have single parents (William Converse-Roberts as Mr. Hammond and Faye Grant as Mrs. Maris) as Chase's mum died of cancer and Nicole's father (Stephen Collins) is estranged. Their parents appear to be very "friendly" with each other, and later on in the film we find out why.
So, when Brad - on the verge of asking Nicole to the centenary dance - falls in love with a cheerleader instead (when he accidentally fell on her during a basketball game), and Chase's girlfriend Dulcie (Ali Larter) dumps him because she thinks he's too shallow (because she is into animal rights and he doesn't seem to be interested), Nicole and Chase strike an unholy deal - they will pretend to be in a relationship with each other in an attempt to make their desired partners jealous.
Nicole gives Chase a Pygmalion-like makeover and suddenly it looks like their crazy plan may just succeed after all. Or will they fall in love with each other instead? And what about Nicole's best friend - acid-tongued Alicia (Susan May Pratt) - will she throw a spanner into the works?
The ending may be somewhat predictable, and yet the film as a whole seems to be more than the sum of its parts. The characters are reasonably fleshed out and have complex overtones to their personalities, and the dialogue is reasonably clever in places. However, overall I found the film to be somewhat slow-moving and uninvolving. The problem is, a romantic comedy with artistic pretensions can aspire to become a piece of serious drama, but an ambitious teen movie ends up looking awkward because - let's face it - what is the serious equivalent?
Incidentally, I think Melissa should really stop playing teen roles. She may still have the pert little body and a perky voice, but she is not as fresh-faced as she used to be and it would be nice to see her play her age for a change in a more substantial role. "
Dumb title, good movie
tropic_of_criticism | 11/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hardly a waste of time, DRIVE ME CRAZY isn't quite the movie it was marketed to be. Though presented as a romantic comedy, this is a film essentially about cliques, and the almost tribal warfare that ensues between them. More, it's about stepping outside the familiar and seeing what else there is to life. To be sure you won't be magically transported by this film to some greater understanding of high school life. But it does have the capacity to make you remember what it feels like to be in (a predominantly white, suburban American) high school. Is it funny? Well, it's no AMERICAN PIE. There are moments of humor, but you won't be bustin' a gut, here. It is, however, absolutely fun. This is definitely a movie for those nights where you don't want to be challenged, but you equally don't want to be insulted by blatant stereotype. Oh, yes, it IS a love story. But it's the social commentary and the characters' felt angst along the way that makes you keep watching. The acting in almost every case contributes greatly to this need to stay tuned. Others have commented that Melissa Joan Hart is laughable here, but I don't see that. She perfectly captures a girl on the cool side of preppy.If there's anything unsatisfying here, it's that the tension which builds between the two leads never sees real resolution. The pre-ordained ending simply happens. Though that ending makes sense, we're missing about one scene of confrontation in which that resolution can be worked out. Also, unlike AMERICAN PIE which is very clearly told from the perspective of teenagers, this film throughout feels as though it's made by adults trying to recreate their youths. This makes the film somewhat purer and less offensive than AMERICAN PIE, but it does take a great deal of that frenetic, sexual `edge' off.These qualifications aside, DRIVE ME CRAZY is still worth a look, and maybe even a ponder or two. [DVD NOTES: There's really nothing much extra on the DVD. Unless you just really like adding indiscriminately to your DVD collection, you should probably save a few dollars and get it on VHS.]"
Kristy Marie | tampa, fl United States | 08/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Britney sings the title track to this movie that Melissa Joan Hart satrs in.. relaly good teen flick"
FINALLY A TEEN FILM THAT DEPICTS HIGH SCHOOOL AS IT IS.
Spongy | New Hartford, NY | 03/12/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Drive me Crazy on the surface is portrayed as a shallow,run-of-the-mill, simplistic movie.I also thought it would be this. But instead it is an eyopening web of complex emotions. Some of the beginning parts are questionable though (Chase goes from grunge-boy, to popular boyfriend in about 2 seconds with little instant remorse, or thought), but as the movie unfolds, it becomes something more. This is largely in part of the simple, yet true to the heart performances of the two leads, Adrian Grenier, who delicately portrays a teenager somewhere between a hurt child, and a noncomformist anti-hero, and Melissa Joan Hart believeably portraying a perky popular girl who has a slow change of heart about who she is and where she stands. As supporting characters ''Designated Dave'' is strongly played, showing acore of insecurity and hurt. BUt overall what makes the film worth seeing is the general feel of it. The simple, yet realistically portrayed wounds of hurt, insecurity, and inferiority that make the ''uncool'' kids try to be what they aren't. High school is finally realistically portrayed as a Nazi-like environment. As brutal as it seems, it really is. People get hurt, and suffer and are dehumanized in what is no less than a Nazi following of kids degrading each other. Hopefully other filmmakers will take the hint and start creating movies that are more true to life, instead of the upper-cut, simplistic movies they currently process."
The simpler the better
Reuben Roa | Murrieta, CA United States | 06/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is definitley in my top 5 fav movies. I loved the story and how it could totally compare with a normal high school life. Its with two neighbors, who grew up together, and yet for the past few years didn't even talk to each other. It kind of pushes reality a little bit how the rebel of the school and the queen of school spirit could fall for each other, but it was very fun to watch. Didn't keep you on your toes cuz any normal person would have predicted the ending from the start. But still a totally fun movie to watch over and over."