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Material Girls

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
Material Girls
from Film Forum, 08/24/06

Hilary Duff and her sister Haylie star in Material Girls, a movie that many are calling contradictory. The Duffs play the young, airheaded inheritors of their father's cosmetics company, and the movie is full of product placement and fashionable costumes, selling the very lifestyle it pretends to critique.

Bob Hoose (Plugged In) calls it "bouncy," "upbeat," and "even relatively restrained when it comes to sex, drugs, skin and sleaze." But he has a problem with what seems to be a contradiction. "The point behind Material Girls is supposed to be: Money doesn't buy happiness. … But though our heroines do learn a little about the value of friendship, it's difficult to wholeheartedly accept the 'money vs. happiness' lesson from a movie that ultimately reinforces a nation's obsession with the tabloids' treatment of idle celebrity."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) finds that this "breezy satirizing of celebrity superficiality is undermined by a lame script and irritatingly ditzy performances by the sisters, who shed their squeaky-clean image somewhat to appeal to a wider audience."

Mainstream critics don't unanimously condemn it the way they did Zoom, this month's other dismal "family film," but it's still tough to find anyone who recommends the film.