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IN SHORT: A raucous comedy. Uneven but a lot of fun. [Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, drug content and language. 93 minutes]
When clawing your way up to the top of the pile in the dog eat dog worlds of cheerleading and competitive beauty, sparkly teeth in a brilliant smile, gleaming eyes, perfect hair and an equally perfect set of unstuffed -- one can only hope -- breasts just aren't enough anymore. Heck, everyone is on the fast track to their Ph.D in applied sciences; everyone can play a Mozart piano sonata one-handed while upside down and blindfolded. What can a viciously competitive girl do to ensure that she always comes out on top? She adopts. No not a baby. An exchange student from a far off land called . . . . . France.
...with trendsetting comes responsibility as Slap Her ... She's French takes dead on sarcastic aim at the cheerleader/beauty queen mentality and then proceeds down the two lane highway of Denial and Deception. That means denying that one contestant is manipulating the system. The deception angle is something else altogether. But we're getting ahead of our self.
Splendona, Texas is the town that is as amazed that someone from France would venture there as it is to have her as their guest. Starla Grady (Jane McGregor) is our cheerleader, working her way up the line of local beauty pageants towards the big enchilada, her goal of becoming the most popular morning talk show host in America. Her problems are many: she's flunking French class (blame teacher Michael McKean for that); she's been suspended from the cheerleading squad and she's losing hold on her usual lock on the top spot on the pageant circuit. "Good Morning America" hasn't called, either.
To reestablish her position, Starla imports Genevieve LePlouff (Piper Perabo), a French lass with thick glasses and thicker accent. Fellow contestants nod with admiration at Starla's stunt. The entire town melts as they learn how Genevieve bears the baggage of a truly sad origin story. Her parents are dead. Her boyfriend drowned in the Seine after a motorcycle accident -- he was on his way to see her at the time. Add to that the endearing touch that almost every word out of Genevieve's mouth mangles the English language in some form of double entendre and soon, rather than elevating Starla's stature in the community, Genevieve soon finds herself to top dog in school, replacing Starla on all fronts. Starla's gal pals are Genevieve's new best buds. Starla's boyfriend is quickly swayed by the soon-revealed foreign beauty. Even Starla's parents fall to the Frenchie.
Even worse, Genevieve's topping the cheerleading team, too.
Starla must take action to stop this foreign floozy before the damage is permanent. That means uncovering the deeply hidden secrets in Genevieve's past with the help of the younger brother she wishes didn't exist (Jesse James) and the school newspaper's photographer, Ed Mitchell (Trent Ford), who is the man responsible for stripping Genevieve of her beret and glasses. But with the entire town against her, what's a queen to do? All in all, she (and everyone else) is going to make you laugh.
There's murder and drug trafficking built into the script as well. We're not going to tell you where We will tell you that it's a helluva lot funnier to watch on the big screen than it is to read on this page.
Teevee actress and first time helmer Melanie Mayron does a good job telling the tale. Slap Her ... She's French is a fun sit even as Perabo spreads her French accented dialog across your ear drum with a trowel. If you can guess where the film is all going to end up, fine. If you don't, also fine. Slap Her ... She's French falls dead center into what we euphemistically call the great date movie. (The good date movie is one where at least one of the daters will love it and the other one will like it. The average dateflick is one love, one counting the minutes and hoping for sex). Slap Her ... She's French had both Cranky and a date happy.
Actually, Cranky was just happy to have the date. Down the line isn't any of your business (heh heh heh)
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Slap Her...She's French, he would have paid . . .
Take a date.
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