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Case Number 22638

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Monte Carlo

Fox // 2011 // 109 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // October 30th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge P.S. Colbert said to go on without him; he has to hit the Louvre and will catch up with you later.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Lubitsch Musicals: Criterion Collection (published February 11th, 2008) and Monte Carlo (Blu-ray) (published November 2nd, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

She followed her dream…and found herself.

Opening Statement

I've been going over Parisian maps with a fine tooth comb, but I can't find Monte Carlo anywhere!

Facts of the Case

Following high school graduation, Grace (Selena Gomez, Ramona and Beezus) realizes her lifetime dream of going to Paris, accompanied by her best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy, 2010's A Nightmare On Elm Street) and her antagonistic stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl). Once in the city of light, the girls' vacation plans go quickly awry, and quicker than you can say "Samuel Langhorne Clemens," the plucky Ms. Gomez is playing both princess and pauper, two characters differentiated by a big pair of sunglasses and the worst accent this side of Larry the Cable Guy. And then, it's off to Monaco we go…

The Evidence

"It's neither fair nor sensible to even try to assess the relative merits of Monte Carlo with any kind of critical rationale," surmised Greg Quill, sage entertainment reporter for the Toronto Star. Therein lies the rub: Do I review this piece of cinematic fluff based on its ability to satisfy its target demographic (e.g. pre-teen girls) with a pageant of pretty pictures and clean, contemporary sounds, or based on its apparent inability to work out even the most rudimentary logistics?

For example: How does one satisfy a lifelong dream of seeing Paris by spending a week in Monaco?

No matter. There are priceless jewels, opulent gowns, gorgeous guys, and the shoes; Good Lord, THE SHOES!!!

Look! It's the Eiffel Tower! Over there, the panoramic view of the harbor at La Condamine! Listen! It's the soul of Burt Bacharach, piping through the "original score" by Oscar winner Michael Giacchino (Up) and all of it uncluttered by messy lines of demarcation!!

Finally, there's the trio of lovely young stars, who enunciate, emote, and execute their blocking to a tee, navigating as if the entire world were their private runway. What about their acting abilities, you ask? Impossible to say, based on this film, for which no thespian chops were injured…er, I mean, required.

Monte Carlo's 1.85:1 widescreen, dual layer presentation is as flawless as Ms. Meester's complexion, and Fox has generously piled on extras like "Ding Dang Delicious: The Boys of Monte Carlo" (to send pulses skyward throughout the Tiger Beat crowd) though the "Deleted Scenes" (basically heads and tails snipped from scenes that made the final cut and a few discarded transitional shots) are a time-wasting gyp.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

The inclusion of Selena G.'s "Who Says?" video would have been nice.

Closing Statement

It's hard not to feel a little bad for bullying this cloying kid/chick-flick, but soon I'll have forgotten the film in its entirety, and then I'll be able to forgive myself.

The Verdict

Guilty! I hereby order this movie to remain no less than 50 feet away from grown-ups at all times.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 98
Audio: 98
Extras: 85
Acting: 60
Story: 35
Judgment: 79

Perp Profile

Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• English (SDH)
• Spanish
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Genres:
• Adventure
• Bad
• Comedy
• Fantasy
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies
• Teen

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes
• Featurettes

Accomplices

• IMDb








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