Main cast: Piper Perabo (Genevieve LePlouff), Jane McGregor (Starla Grady), Trent Ford (Ed Mitchell), Michael McKean (Monsieur Duke), Julie White (Bootsie Grady), Brandon Smith (Arnie Grady), Jesse James (Randolph Grady), Nicki Aycox (Tanner Jennings), Alexandra Adi (Ashley Lopez), Matt Czuchry (Kyle Fuller), Cristen Coppen (Doreen Gilmore)
Director: Melanie Mayron
Slap Her… She’s French! is not the story of Marie Antoinette, in case you’re wondering. This is a typical, moderately amusing teen flick in the tradition of Clueless, Legally Blonde, and other movies where the blonde babes are loved because they are blonde, beautiful, and oh yeah, deep or something, like wow, are those nails rad or what?
It works less successfully too than its predecessors, because the script doesn’t dare tread new grounds. Jane McGregor plays Starla Grady, a blonde Britney Spears-lookalike high school queen whose only dream is to be on Good Morning America. She has everything planned meticulously, from her winning the Beef Pageant to having the perfect football captain boyfriend Kyle to even hosting the news on the school TV broadcast.
But when she is in danger of being upstaged by her “friend” in the Beef Pageant, she rashly announces that she is hosting an exchange student from France (“community, love”, blah blah blah). She wins, and she gets Genevieve LePlouff from France as her guest for the rest of the semester. Genevieve seems like a plain, shy girl… until she slowly, Single White Female style, takes over the affections of everyone in Starla’s life and even Starla’s place as the head cheerleader of the school!
Starla will not take it lying down, so it’s catfight time!
Actually, this movie isn’t as fun as it sounds. The script relies too much on jokes recycled from other better teen bimbo comedies, and the romance between Starla and Ed, the smart outsider (only in movies will a pretty boy like male model Trent Ford be considered an outsider geek) is half-baked, although they do share some genuine moments of chemistry together. Piper Perabo doesn’t really have much to do here, except to pout her lips and does the whore cheerleader dance thing pretty well (if the wolf whistles from the audience are anything to go by), but Jane McGregor truly is a fighter. She drags this movie to the finishing line using her charm and great comedic timing alone. It’s a pity her character is written like a third-rate Cher Horowitz.
Slap Her… She’s French! has some moments of prime low-brow comedy, and I chuckle maybe three or four times, but in the end, it is badly written and the jokes are just not up to par. It’s a pretty pleasant movie to watch for some pleasant ho-hum thing, but it’s still comes off like a pale imitation of the real thing.