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Dunst plays Nicole Oakley, a troubled teenager from a privileged family who falls in love with Carlos (Jay Hernandez), a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The story is nothing new, but the presentation is remarkably good, with far greater maturity than one would expect from a high school flick.
This film is exceptional considering its limited budget and the fact that most of the major players have very little experience at this level. For writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, this is their first feature film screenplay. For director John Stockwell, it is only his second feature film. Likewise for Jay Hernandez and Taryn Manning. Many of the Latino actors were cast from a local high school, so they are in their first film. By comparison, Kirsten Dunst is a jaded veteran. The use of so many ordinary (not professional actors) high school students in the film gives it a very genuine look and feel.
Stockwell turns in an impressive directorial effort with a story that is much more complex than it seems at first blush. It starts out as your standard boy-meets-girl love story. They flirt, act silly, have sex, fall in love and create beautiful romantic images on the beach. Just when you think it is going to be a real yawner, things begin to get complicated. Stockwell slowly peels away the layers of the two main characters and their families to reveal subterranean shearing forces that will act to tear them apart.Read more ›
Kirsten Dunst is still portraying a teenager, but proves she can handle adult complexity. Jay Hernandez is wonderfully unaffected. The story is in many respects by the numbers, but it turns most of the movie cliches upside down - the rich kids father approves of the poor kid - it's his own daughter he has trouble with. The Latino kid is appealing to the white girls, but he isn't a white boy in a Latino skin, he is comfortable in his identity. I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to ruin the story for those who haven't seen it.
This is a fun film to watch with superb performances. As others have said, it has no villains just people who look like them from the vantage of the main characters. It's a feel good teen movie with something to interest the brain.
Nicole Oakley (Kirsten Dunst) is seemingly a lucky teenager, blessed with good looks and wealth, she lacks for nothing. Or does she? Carlos Nunez (Jay Hernandez), the son of a poor, Mexican single mother, is an intelligent teenager, also blessed with good looks. He is also his family's hope for the future.
Nicole carries a lot of baggage with her, due to some serious family issues she has yet to work out. She and Jay meet. He manages to see beneath her hard, wild, devil may care veneer. She realizes that Jay treats her as a person and not a boy toy. He manages to look below her hard exterior and sees her vulnerability, as well as her innate kindness, and is touched by it. They manage to fall in love but not without experiencing a few bumps on the road.
Having some serious self-esteem problems, however, Nicole is on a downward spiral towards complete self destruction, almost taking Jay with her. He basically pulls her out of the tailspin just before these star crossed lovers both crash land. For the viewer, it is, however, a ride well worth taking.
Kirsten Dunst gives a wonderful performance as the angst ridden Nicole. Jay Hernandez is excellent as the stalwart, hard working, teen from the barrio whose family is pinning all their hopes for the future on him. Burce Davison gives a very good performance as Nicole's tolerant, but bewildered, father who wants to make Nicole happy but does not know how to do so, until it is nearly too late.
Teens and adults alike will enjoy this well intentioned, coming of age drama.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first thought as I was streaming Crazy/Beautiful was that I didn’t particularly care for how they set up the love storyline between Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Griswold
This movie has been one of my all time favorite's sine as long as I can remember! If you like a good romance/ funny movie this is it!!Published 2 months ago by Kayla Burback
Total guilty pleasure movie. Acting is overly dramatic and story line fades, but young Kirsten Dunst plays hot mess well.Published 3 months ago by Sarah Villien
I was half expecting the typical teen love story. This was much more. I related in some ways, and that's what drew me in. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lacey
Horrible, such a typical teenager story. If it wasn't for my urban class I never would have watched it.Published 3 months ago by karenbethha