‘Material Girls’


The immensely false assumption at the heart of this slapdash Hilary and Haylie Duff vehicle is that anyone would care if a couple of vapid, spoiled teen models suddenly lost their family fortune. You may find yourself longing for the intricate plotting and ensemble acting skills of the Olsen twins movies. The Duffs don’t even fully commit to their characters here—they’re seemingly undecided about whether they can get away with being shallow and bratty without ruining their family-friendly images. Haylie’s slightly better at being bitchy, while Hilary would have us believe she’s a whiz at chemistry. Director Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl) can do precious little with these two—every now and then the movie appears to be heading into slightly dangerous territory (a scary redneck throws a cat; Hilary has a gay-panic moment in jail), but almost immediately pulls back. Most embarrassing is a scene where Hilary tries to be seductive, Erin Brockovich–style—you’d think someone whose whole career is based upon her looks could successfully pretend to flirt.