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September 30 - October 7, 1999

[Movie Reviews]

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Drive Me Crazy

It's not as bad as you might think. Melissa Joan Hart, formerly Nickelodeon's Clarissa, currently ABC's leading teen witch, Sabrina, plays scheming but good-natured high-school socialite Nicole, who's got her heart and her day planner set on taking Brad (a big lunk of a blond basketball player) to the high-school centennial gala. But then Brad falls on (and in love with) one of the rival cheerleaders during a game. Meanwhile, Nicole's next-door neighbor Chase (Adrian Grenier) -- alterna, anti-establishment, could-be-a-Precious-Moments-doll -- is getting dumped by his sexy, cranberry-haired girlfriend because he's not gung-ho about animal rights. Naturally, Nicole and Chase pair up -- Nicole to avoid going to the big dance stag, Chase to catch the eye of his ex.

This story isn't quite the cliché of the dork transformed into the prom king (though Chase does resemble a Ken doll after he lets Nicole pick out his wardrobe). Chase is cool right from the beginning, and his beatnik ex looks as if she could eat Melissa Joan Hart for breakfast. And though the pairing of cool and outcast is abrupt, the plot a bit off-kilter, and the appearance of the Seventh Heaven dad just weird, the rest of the cast is appealing -- Chase's buddies from the high-school margins, Nicole's school-spirited in-crowd.

-- Rachel O'Malley
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