Movie Review: Monte Carlo


There's a world outside Odyssey. Occasionally I'll review other all-ages entertainment to see how it stacks up to Adventures in Odyssey.


It’s a sad truth that most children’s movies are awful. When reviewing a particularly terrible children’s movie, a critic often dismisses, “I didn’t like it, but then it wasn’t meant for me.” Yes, it’s a cop-out, but there is truth to the disclaimer. While the rare gem like The Incredibles has proved that a movie meant for children can appeal to all ages, a person who hates romantic comedies isn’t in a position to judge whether the hot new romcom is good or not.

With that said, Monte Carlo wasn’t meant for me. It’s target audience is ten to fourteen year-old girls, so-called tweens. I am neither a tween nor a girl. Except for the most insipid scenes, I surprisingly found myself enjoying most of Monte Carlo. Saying a movie is an enjoyable movie is a far cry from saying it is a good movie. I enjoy a lot of movies I know are just popcorn flicks; likewise, sitting through some movies I know are classics can be a chore.

Different screenwriting manuals have differing guidelines, but most insist the inciting incident must come within the first fifteen pages. The inciting incident is the event that sets the story in motion. In Monte Carlo the inciting incident is Grace being mistaken for an English heiress. It doesn’t come until the twenty-five minute mark. One page of screenplay equal approximately one minute of screen time. This means the inciting incident of Monte Carlo doesn’t happen until page twenty-five. The story should’ve started with them boarding the plane to Paris or even once they were already in Paris. Everything before that point added nothing to the story.

Monte Carlo Still You may be wondering, How does this happen? The screenwriters may be incompetent, but it seems unlikely that professional screenwriters would be unaware of this rule. It’s probably detritus. No less than five writers (though only three get credited) had a hand in this script. It started as four middle-aged women pretending to be wealthy heiresses in hopes of snagging rich husbands. It became three Midwestern teachers who pose as wealthy women. Then some studio executive decided he wanted to attract the tween audience and had it rewritten yet again. It’s an example of mass-produced filmmaking. Entire plots are considered interchangeable. It’s inevitable bits that are no longer relevant from previous drafts are going to accumulate in a process like that.

As a general rule, action movies and dramas should be no longer than two hours, but comedies should generally come in under ninety minutes. At 109 minutes Monte Carlo drags. As I’ve already mentioned, much of the beginning could have been jettisoned. There are not one—but three (one for each girl—supposedly deep conversations with their respective mates that bring the entire plot to a grinding halt.

There is a simple test to determine whether a movie has a gender bias called the Bechdel test. To pass the test, a movie must (1) have at least two women in it (2) who talk to each other (3) about something other than a man. Most people’s reaction when they first hear this rule is that surely most movies pass it. However, when you actually pay attention to movies, you’ll be amazed by how many movies—even romantic comedies—that fail this test.

Monte Carlo Still Monte Carlo, of course, passes the Bechdel test. The three main characters are all female and do talk about subjects other than men, yet still an inordinate amount of screen time is spent trying to pair each with a man. Grace with French Hunk, her sister Meg with Australian Guy, and her best friend Emma with Dumbo. I don’t know why the writers felt compelled to place each of the main characters in a relationship with a boy. The movie should have been about their relationships with each other. Had the movie been about three guys touring Europe, would they still have all been in a relationship with the opposite sex before the end?

Considering the target audience for movie is ten to fourteen year-old girls, do we really want to be sending the message that dating men you hardly know that you’ve just met overseas is a good idea? Have you seen Taken? Meg’s dalliance with Australian Guy is especially troubling. When she leaves with him, it’s evening. When he drops her off, it’s morning. Are we to assume only PG-rated activities happened during that span? Further, she announces she and this guy will travel Europe unchaperoned for the remainder of the summer without her father’s express permission. As a twentysomething she’s an adult who can make her own decisions, but you must keep in mind the movie’s target audience is much younger.

There are two types of plot holes: (1) logical inconsistencies embedded deep within the plot that canot be fixed without restructuring the entire movie and (2) minor plot holes that could have been fixed with a single line. The latter bother me more because they show the screenwriter was lazy—or worse, didn’t care. There is a celebrity who looks identical to Grace, yet both her and her friends seem oblivious to it. People love comparing themselves to celebrities—even when the likeness is much more tenuous. We’re to believe none of Grace’s friends have ever spotted Cordelia on a tabloid cover at the supermarket and pointed it out to her? This could have been solved by inserting “hey, Grace, there’s that celebrity who looks like you” into the script.

Monte Carlo Poster Then there’s Dumbo, Emma’s boyfriend. He has seemingly little money and sleeps on benches once he reaches Paris but somehow has the money to catch a last-minute flight to Paris and chase his girlfriend around Europe. And I’m not as sold on him as the movie is. During the (unnecessarily long) first act, he freaks out because his girlfriend is taking a week-long vacation to Paris. It’s not like she’s spending a semester abroad. It’s one week! If he’s that insecure, Emma should have dumped him right there. And that’s not mentioning his disingenuous marriage proposal.

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert repeatedly complains about plots that only work if the characters are dumb—characters who could easily extricate themselves from the complication if they had even a modicum of common sense or intelligence. The whole necklace subplot reeks of stupidity. If the girls showed even an ounce of responsibility, this subplot would never have happened.

Selena Gomez is a talented young actress. I don’t know if it was bad direction or if she was just uncomfortable with her fake English accent, but she seemed uncomfortable in her dual roles. She doesn’t bring any of the snark she lends her Wizards of Waverly Place character Alex to bear in either of her characters here. Grace’s alter ego Cordelia offered her the opportunity to let loose and vamp it up, yet she seemed oddly constrained.

Monte Carlo seems desperately to want to be farce, yet the writers don’t seem to know how to pull off farce. Mistakes pile upon mistakes, but it all peters out before culminating in anything interesting. There are no consequences for any involved. The girls are deceitful, irresponsible, and negligent yet get off without so much as a warning. In real life there would have been serious repercussions and probably at least a little jail time. I admired happythankyoumoreplease for showing the consequences of its protagonist’s actions. A young black boy gets separated from his foster family, follows the protagonist home, and the protagonist allows him to stay with him indefinitely. Although he de facto adopts the boy, he de jure kidnaps the boy. As would happen in real life, the protagonist ends up in the backseat of a squad car. Unfortunately, Monte Carlo doesn’t have the guts to follow through like that.


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  北京時間6月10日,NBA總決賽第四戰,金州勇士在客場 天下運動網 再戰克裏伕蘭騎士,在比賽第三節,場上突然烏龍,德雷蒙德-格林差點被罰下。




  中新網5月8日電 日前,斗魚正式宣佈第二屆斗魚嘉年華將於5月28日至30日 天下現金網 在武漢舉行。本屆嘉年華在首屆基礎上全面升級,涵蓋游戲、電競、影視、二次元、音樂、體育、汽車、科技、美食,時尚等多方面,以重量級內容貫通線上線下,更加凸顯出了直播的力量。預計超500人主播陣容、現象級游戲、唯美二次元動漫等亮相展區,無論是從規模陣容,還是內容維度來看本屆斗魚嘉年華都將刷新行業標准,堪稱“國民級的直播大趴體”。



  本報佛山電 “說老實話,我自己都非常驚冱目前球隊有這樣的 九州国际娱乐网 表現。”昨晚客場擊敗佛山,東莞馬可波羅不僅幫虎哥宏遠報了上周六主場不敵對手之仇,也一解自己首輪主場輸給對手之氣,還在近9場收獲8勝,目前僅落後排名第三的北京一個勝場。主帥戈尒對本隊賽季至今的表現,感到有些不可思議。



英格拉姆感受到了真杜蘭特的能力 九卅娱乐吧

  新浪體育訊  北京時間10月17日,据《洛杉磯時報》報道,湖人隊榜眼秀佈蘭登-英格拉姆在昨天對陣勇士時對位上了凱文-杜蘭特。作為他發展的模板,杜蘭特用實際行動給英格拉姆証明了兩個人的實力差距。



MLB 趣味棒球課正在進行

  日前在北京 九卅影城 豐台體育中心,MLB PLAY BALL!“趣味棒球課”項目正式啟動,為2010-11年度MLB PLAY BALL!活動正式拉開了帷幕。來自北京24所小壆的48名體育老師接受了MLB美職棒大聯盟亞洲棒球推廣部主任Rick Dell的專業指導,共同提高棒球教壆水平,旨在全面推廣普及中國青少年棒球運動。

  MLB PLAY BALL!是由北京市教委主辦、MLB美職棒大聯盟支持的中國青少年棒球發展計劃,至今已連續成功舉辦三年,讓棒球運動走進全國120所壆校的體育課中,鍛煉和發掘了一批具有發展潛力的棒球新苗。活動中,九卅影城tq999

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