A breath of fresh air in a stale genre, Zoe Clarke-Williams's canny look at the catty world of college cliques is the smartest dissection of the complex world of class envy, social acceptance, and the seduction of privileg... more »e since Heathers. But this drama plays it for tragedy. Local working-class girl Mia Kirshner is transformed from social outcast to campus Cinderella and adopted into the hedonistic party world of a trio of rich fun-loving sorority princesses (Meredith Monroe, Dominique Swain, and Rachel True), and comes out the other end in a drug-induced coma. Confidently directed and elegantly constructed in puzzle-piece flashbacks, this sensitive, sympathetic, smartly made drama is refreshingly free of glib moralizing, the rare young-adult film that twists the usual clichés and leaves its audience with more questions than answers. The DVD also features an audio commentary track by director Zoe Clarke-Williams. --Sean Axmaker« less
"New Best Friend" is a terrible movie, but so much fun. Like the young women at the center of its story, "New Best Friend" is a trashy good time. I do feel sorry for Taye Diggs, who, unlike the other actors in this movie, doesn't seem to be enjoying his role at all.
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Wayne R. from FAYETTEVILLE, PA Reviewed on 8/15/2009...
very good movie..
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If You Want to See Soccer Moms Playing Undergraduates
Only-A-Child | 10/03/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
""New Best Friend" is another entry in the "steal another woman's life" sub-genre; the best of which are "Single White Female" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"; the worse of which you can catch almost any afternoon on the Lifetime Channel. For some reason this type of identity theft happens exclusively to women.
There are just two basic ways to play this type of story. You can make the woman evil at the beginning and let the audience watch knowingly as she hatches and implements her evil scheme. Or you use misdirection to make her appear a good person, as a seemingly unplanned series of events break in her favor until she is revealed to be evil in the climatic scene. Unfortunately the makers of "New Best Friend" could not decide how they wanted to play it and things crash and burn early. We first meet Alicia (Mia Kirshner) scamming the college's financial aid office for scholarship money. We now know that she is a bad person and will view all her subsequent activity with suspicion. But the director and editor apparently forgot that this revelation had been made and spend the next 50 minutes laying misdirection to make us think that Alicia is a good person. This introduces the only element of suspense, not about whether she is evil but about when the director and editor will wise up and stop wasting our time with transparent misdirection.
"New Best Friend" suffers more than most from the teen movie curse of a cast too old to be portraying undergraduate students. There are really only two big parts, Hadley (Meredith Monroe) and Alicia (Kirshner). They were 31 and 26 respectively at the time of the production. It almost works for the 26 year-old Kirshner when she plays the mousy version of Alicia but it becomes glaring when she is transformed into the glamed-up version of Alicia. Monroe's casting is simply a joke, about like having Nicholette Sheridan try to pass as a classmate on "Lizzie McGwire". She looks much closer to a mid-life crisis than to a term paper.
The producers must have owed a lot of favors because this age issue extends to most of the supporting characters. Taye Diggs who plays the town sheriff is younger than most of the students.
The basic setup is that Hadley and two other rich party girls (played by Dominque Swain-age 21 and Rachel True-age 35) are undergrad roommates at college. They share (as their student residence) a mansion that is nicer and better furnished than the mansion on Real World-New Orleans (a premise more believable than soccer moms playing students). Alicia moves into the mansion and begins to take over Hadley's life. At least that way Swain finally gets a roommate from her own generation so the two can have a lesbian scene. Swain's supporting performance is the only good thing about "New Best Friend" and her love scene with Kirshner is fantastic, so cool and artsy that it doesn't fit with any of the other segments, maybe it was subcontracted out to a good director and cinematographer.
The unintentionally hilarious story is presented in a series of dreary flashbacks of rampant sex and nonstop parties, each proceeded by a shot of a comatose Alicia in a hospital bed. About half of Kirshner's screen time is spent lying motionless with a tube in her mouth. Not a good career move Mia.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
A great movie for a hot date!
MartyHansen | Los Angeles, CA USA | 11/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A poor girl who falls in with rich girls suffers an overdose, and the local sheriff wannabe is brought in to investigate. The rich girls are young and very attractive, especially when they're partying in their spaghetti-strapped dresses. And the poor girl, played by Mia Kirschner, is no slouch in the looks department herself with her dark features and jet black hair.Mia eventually ingratiates herself with all of the friends; smoking, drinking, and doing drugs - and sharing dark secrets - like when she and Dominique Swain discover that both of them had been molested by their fathers when they were ten-years-old, which causes them to bond by exploring each other's mouths with their tongues, pawing at each other's clothes, and then falling asleep in each other's arms soon afterwards.Mia then uncovers that Rachel True, a gorgeous fair-skinned black girl, is bulimic; and Mia offers to help her quit when she's ready. Rachel is touched, but rather than make it with Mia, she shares a deep soul kiss with Ms. Swain to continue an on-going relationship with Dominique (who is bisexual).Dominique is on a roll, but the only girl among her circle of friends she doesn't kiss is Meredith Monroe, who plays Hadley, the story's main character - and main suspect! Meredith looks a lot like Natasha Henstridge (`Ghosts of Mars'), so watching her is definitely easy on the eyes. The most risque thing she does in the movie, though, is get naked (from the back) with her boyfriend in bed. But her performance as a seemingly innocent and helpful best friend is excellent.Besides Meredith, another fine appearance is made by Taye Diggs as this Southern college town's interim sheriff. He approaches his task with sensitivity and determination, and it is through his eyes - and the flashbacks that he's told - that we get to enjoy the girls' divulged sensuality.Taye solves the crime, and one of the girls is brought to justice. She ends up behind bars at the movie's end - while we see Dominique, asleep and naked in bed - and lying between both her own boyfriend and another girl! (Gee, I don't remember college life to be this good!)This movie is well produced - and well paced - and Dominique (who I loved in `Lolita') is definitely fun to follow. This would be a great film to share on a really hot date. Enjoy!"
Diaspora Chic | Silver Spring, MD | 06/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alicia, daughter of a working-class mother, had the aspirations of being a lawyer. When she met Hadley, a rich and spoiled, but neglected daughter of a wealthy man, her world is not going to be what it is. She hangs around Hadley and her friends going to partites and doing drugs, leaving her best friend from kindergarten behind. The lifestyle that Alicia enjoys isn't all that it is cracked up to be. The decadence of sex and drugs destroys her mentally and causes friction with Hadley, who in turn no longer wants to have anything to with her. However, Hadley is at fault for creating her into the person that she isn't. The rich girl gets foiled over by the former outcast. And she does what she can to keep her from the rest of them.
This was a good movie. I couldn't help but stayed glued to the television as the story unfolds to events that led to Alicia's overdose. Alicia needed someone to let her know that things were looking up for her and not to give up every time she got rejected. Hadley needed her father's emotional support but she also needed to learn to be on her own without relying on daddy's money. The other two women that hung around Hadley were just as out of control as Hadley. Taye Diggs, the investigator, does a great job. He was on the ball as he unfolds this event going into the depths of college life."
Somewhat confusing but still worth while
incrowdbrittany | Port Huron, MI | 07/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although this is a grown up teen movie set for the 20 something college genera, it is still quite a good mystery flick. Throughout the film the plot manages to twist and turn just enough to throw you completely off track in regards to your opinion on "Who Done It?". Although the film does boast Dominiqe Swain as one of the title characters, don't expect her to be the lead, she does play a big part, but not as big as Mia Kirshner and Meridith Monroe.
Definately a film worth checking out if you like to have a surprise ending and like to act like Shurlock Holmes!"
Pretty good movie
Marsha McAllister | Bossier City, Louisiana USA | 06/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has quality. There is much more unspoken than spoken that "speaks" to a girl in her 20s. I thought the movie touched on issues that many 20 + year olds are dealing with these days--bisexuality, alcoholism, recreational drug use, trying to grow up and still be daddy's girl at the same time, and most of all "how to fit in." I loved the theme of "lead, follow or get out of the way." What a smart quote for today's young woman in college or out there trying to make it on her own.Give this movie a try, you just might like it."