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"No French people were harmed in the making of this film."

Title: Slap Her... She's French
Director: Melanie Mayron
Writers: Lamar Damon, Robert Lee King
Release Date: 18th October 2002 (UK)
Runtime: 91

Jane McGregor - Starla Grady
Piper Perabo - Genevieve LePlouff
Trent Ford - Ed Mitchell
Nicki Lynn Aycox - Tanner Jennings
Alexandra Adi - Ashley Lopez
Matt Czuchry - Kyle Fuller

Contains Spoilers
Starla is the darling of her highschool - she is head cheerleader, dating the captain of the American football team and generally a good egg. The girls want to be her and the boys want to date her. Starla's ambition since, like, forever, is to be a TV news anchorperson and to do this, she feels she has to be popular and generally have a high profile. For reasons that are unclear even after having watched the film, Starla manages to win a beauty / popularity / something pageant by announcing to the audience that her family have decided to take in a French exchange student.

When Genevieve LePlouff arrives, she is not exactly what Starla was expecting. Sporting a beret and very shy, Genevieve does not immediately hit it off with anyone. Only Ed, the photographer for the school paper, who clearly has a bit of a 'thing' for Starla (who does nothing but ridicule him), seems to notice her and does a full page article about her.

As time goes by, it becomes apparent that Genevieve is trying to in some way take over Starla's life - she 'helps' her in a French test by telling her rude phrases which then leads to Starla being kicked off the cheerleading team (a position Genevieve gladly takes over), she starts dirty dancing with Starla's boyfriend Kyle and, in one incredibly unfunny extended sketch, gives Starla a drink laced with magic mushrooms that eventually leads to a stint in jail.

All this leads to Genevieve becoming the new school darling, and Starla has a monumental fall from grace. After Starla's young brother bails her from jail, she makes her way to a young anchorperson's competition (in which Genevieve has taken Starla's place) and swaps the tapes to reveal that Genevieve is in fact a girl from Texas (so, as it happens, this film contains a whole bunch of slapping, but not a single French person) who went missing after Starla persuaded her to lick the bottom of an ice cow when they were very young. She thinks this has ruined her life and hates Starla with a passion. How Starla has found this out and produced a tape about it is never explained.

The film ends up with Starla refusing to take her boyfriend Kyle back and ending up with Ed. 'Genevieve' is then shown arriving in France for an exchange student program using the name Starla. Cue closing caption and credits.

Firstly, the title r0x0rs.

From the opening scene of a group of girls performing a dance routine extolling the virtues of beef to the closing caption, "no French people were harmed in the making of this film", Slap Her... She's French is just plain weird. While some of the jokes are enjoyable, many are just plain painful - although to be fair, there are far fewer xenophobic remarks than you might legitimately expect. Much of the film feels unfinished, many avenues are left unexplored (there are undertones of a lesbian relationship between Starla's two best friends, Tanner and Ashley, but this is simply alluded to in one scene and then never mentioned again) and the unbelievability of the main story is a shame.

For a film so obviously aimed at the teen market, the single use of the word fuck must have irritated parents and censors alike (although I suppose the drug taking references won't have helped either). Seriously though, this film would have done itself a favour if it had been targeted more successfully. The acting is almost universally poor, the script hackneyed, the characters all massively stereotypical and the plot almost nonsensical. But it is fun.

Imdb lists this as a remake of All About Eve which is a massive disservice to the 1950 classic.

the unparalleled imdb.com

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