Welcome to Colby University, where the wealthy and powerful rule. Into this world steps Alicia, a girl of modest means who dreams of becoming a lawyer. When she meets the beautiful, popular Hadley, Alicia quickly becomes a member of an elite clique. But she's about to learn the hard way that her new friends walk a dangerous line. A seductive thriller in the tradition of Cruel Intentions and Wild Things, New Best Friend will have you guessing until the shocking final scenes.
A breath of fresh air in a stale genre, Zoe Clarke-Williams's canny look at the catty world of college cliques is the smartest dissection of the complex world of class envy, social acceptance, and the seduction of privilege since Heathers
. But this drama plays it for tragedy. Local working-class girl Mia Kirshner is transformed from social outcast to campus Cinderella and adopted into the hedonistic party world of a trio of rich fun-loving sorority princesses (Meredith Monroe, Dominique Swain, and Rachel True), and comes out the other end in a drug-induced coma. Confidently directed and elegantly constructed in puzzle-piece flashbacks, this sensitive, sympathetic, smartly made drama is refreshingly free of glib moralizing, the rare young-adult film that twists the usual clichés and leaves its audience with more questions than answers. The DVD also features an audio commentary track by director Zoe Clarke-Williams. --Sean Axmaker