John Tucker Must Die Directed by Betty Thomas 20th Century Fox, opens July 28
If only. No one buys the farm in this Heathers-wannabe teen "satire," a term used so loosely it'll fly off in a stiff breeze. But the title's difficult to argue with, unless it's to maintain that we'd all be better off if the film's entire roster of characters had been shot in the head at the dump, greyhound-style. But enough about me: John Tucker (the plasticine Jesse Metcalf) is a rich-boy high school demigod boffing three princesses (Arielle Kebbel, Ashanti, Sophia Bush), to the revulsion of shy unpopular kid Kate (Brittany Snow). The trio discovers his supa-player scheme and plots revengewhich quickly devolves from dreams of violence (my dream, too) to spiking his sports drink with estrogen and setting Kate up as his new honey with the intent to crush his inviolable heart. The script-performance synergy is pure Disney Channel sitcom, with moderate relief provided by Bush, the only hireling here who seems to have actually watched a comedy once in her short little life. Whatever the target demographic was in the pre-production phase, now it's limited to sexually active 14-year-olds still retaking the sixth grade.