Review: Hilary Duff's Brat Is Tamed In "According To Greta"

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Review: Hilary Duff's Brat Is Tamed In "According To Greta"

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:33 pm

Los Angeles Times: Hilary Duff might not strike most people as the first choice to play a bitter, sassy teenager with a self-destructive streak, but this ex-tween queen's attempt to transform her bright-eyed wholesomeness into rebellious snark in the modest teen saga "According to Greta" is a valiant one.

Dumped by her fed-up mother (Melissa Leo) at the Jersey Shore home of Greta's grandparents (Ellen Burstyn and Michael Murphy), this movie's petulant heroine shocks those around her with acerbic musings about committing suicide at 18, until summer romance, family secrets and near-tragedy guide Greta toward an emergent maturity about the consequences of her actions.

Director Nancy Bardawil and writer Michael Gilvary have a few too many after-school special schematics on display, and the recurrent use of animated scrapbook segues and pop songs that telegraph every emotion feels lazy. But their hearts are in the right place with their taming-of-the-brat tale.

They give Duff plenty of room to fail (quippy insults aren't her forte) and succeed (Greta's inevitable softening). Plus, the more-than-capable cast around her -- especially the magnetic Evan Ross as the sweet and soulful ex-juvie line cook she falls for -- keeps the generally predictable proceedings at a manageably spirited level of charm.


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