Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities
Meet the most beautiful, most popular, most powerful clique at Reagan High School.
First, there's the heartless Courtney Shayne (Rose McGowan) - aka Satan in heels. Then there's Courtney's pawn, the dense but dangerous Marcie Fox (Julie Benz) known to herself as Foxy, a legend in her own little mind. And the angelic Julie Freeman (Rebecca Gayheart), doomed to be popular because of her beautiful face. Then there's Liz Purr (Charlotte Roldan). Liz is different. she's as beautiful and popular as the other girls in her clique, but she's special. She's genuinely sweet. Liz rules with kindness, where Courtney rules with terror.
On the morning of her seventeenth birthday, Liz is kidnapped by the other three, all wearing masks, who plan to torture the birthday girl with a breakfast of pancakes. They tie her up and throw her in the trunk of Courtney's car. In the process, Courtney has gagged Liz - literally, it turns out with a Jawbreaker and gaffer tape. When the girls pop the trunk, Liz is dead.
In a panic, the girls decide to cover it up. They return the dead girl to her bedroom and Courtney decides to make Liz's death look like the result of a depraved double life involving sex and torture. In the midst of their plotting, the nerd of the the school - Fern Mayo (Judy Greer) stumbles in on them. Courtney makes a pact with Fern to keep her mouth shut. In return, the girls will make her not only beautiful, but popular beyond her wildest dreams.
Courtney dubs her creation Vylette, and a high school diva is born.
Special Agent Matti
Heathers for the 90s, but not so hard edged.
The thing about the 90s is that everything has been done (and seen), so it's pretty hard to shock people anymore. The evil that was Heathers just doesn't work for Jawbreaker (known to those down under as a gobstopper).
There's also a large dose of Clueless, and every other high school clique film ever made. And *Sighs* there's a prom king and queen, there are lockers in the hallway, a ditzy principal (Carol Kane as Miss Sherman), a hard-arsed cop (Pam Grier as Detective Vera Cruz) and all your favourite high school stereotypes (ie jocks, geeks, drama people, wannabes...).
Jawbreaker is an interesting diversion, but never more than that. It's darkish and twistedish, but never decides whether it's Heathers or Clueless, and that undercuts whatever message they were trying to get across. If there was one. Light relief at best, there's bound to be something more interesting to watch, but there will also be worse.
Security censorship classification
M (Medium level violence, sexual references, medium level coarse language)
87 minutes (1:27 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 15 December 1999