Slap Her, She's French

"Very Good"

Slap Her, She's French Review


Slap me, I liked it.

If the farcical title for actress-turned-director Melanie Mayron's Slap Her, She's French doesn't scare you away, there's a chance the worn-out premise will. Don't let it. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mayron and her bubbly cast of newcomers deliver a delectable little treat that's sunny, funny, and far more intelligent than you'd expect.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Gorgeous high school cheerleader Starla (Jane McGregor) dates the Varsity quarterback (Matt Czuchry), is worshipped by the minions roaming the halls of Splendona High, and is on the fast track to become the next host of Good Morning America - her career aspiration. All of that changes when she agrees to host Genevieve LePlouff (Piper Perabo), a French foreign exchange student who might be hiding something devious underneath her black beret.

What caught me off guard was the number of successful jokes Slap Me wrings out of its familiar premise. Remarkable comedic performances by McGregor and Perabo shuttle the film along at a brisk pace. Each displays impressive range and a knowledge of self that creates fully realized characters where thin caricatures might have been plugged in. Beneath Genevieve's unassuming, apologetic persona lies a sleeping tiger, and her coming out party during the halftime show of a football game is hilarious. The crowd's reaction, conveyed in unison, is even better. On the contrary, McGregor - in her feature film debut - lays Starla's entire vapid personality out from the get go, warts and all. What you see is what you get with this Barbie clone, and first impressions mean everything, mainly because there's not much else to her.

Slap Her knows it's not breaking new ground, so it focuses its energies on finding amusing quirks in clever situations. Starla's descent from the top of Mt. Popularity is witnessed by a number of clichéd characters, from her horny French teacher (Michael McKean) to her lush of a mom (Julie White) and her far-smarter-than-you younger brother (Jesse James). But against all odds, the strong supporting cast wrap these tired personas around their fingers to produce some decent laughs.

Mayron uses subtle comic touches to lighten up most scenes. My favorite is the consistent whisper of an accordion playing romantic French serenades whenever Genevieve launches into a monologue. And the screenplay, credited to at least seven different writers, comfortably lands in the safe middle ground between a teen spoof and a knowing, finger-on-the-pulse John Hughes dramedy. Yes, it eventually crumbles like a dry croissant, to borrow a phrase from Genevieve. But not before it slaps its teen target again and again.

Aka She Gets What She Wants.

Hats off to France!



Slap Her, She's French

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 7th February 2002

Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Genevieve Le Plouff, as Starla Grady, as Ed Mitchell

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.