WARNING: Inserting The In Crowd into your home entertainment system will release a near-deadly stench throughout your home that will hang around for days.
Blame it on the abundance of Spring pollen wafting through the air the like the Angel of Death making my eyes and chest feel like seeing and breathing are no longer an option, or blame it on a the clonazepam I took after receiving the coming out post-it note attached to a picture of my oldest son Jimmy (the one at the General Schwarzkopf Military Academy), attending a local gay pride affair with his new significant other Mason (Marilyn) Needleman, but something possessed me to rent the 2000 theatrical bomb The In Crowd. This saga of catfights between gorgeous rich bitches -- none of who seem to own a bra -- is almost a documentary of how to make an awful movie. With its scantily-clad babes, lurid lesbian come-ons and innuendo-laden lines like "Didn't mean to get you all wet," The In Crowd aspires to Showgirls levels of camp, but while the cast of that much-adored stripper opus did nothing but act, the denizens of The In Crowd couldn't act their way out of a Ziploc.
Susan Ward (straight from her masterful work on NBC's canceled "Sunset Beach") stars as Brittany, the teen queen of a hoity-toity summer resort. Lori Heuring is reformed psycho Adrien, who becomes a cabana girl at Ward's decadent hot spot. Ward takes Heuring under her wing, and soon, Bad Things start to happen. Is any of it believable? Only if you think bisexual teen seductresses exist in the real world. (See Wild Things and Cruel Intentions for further examination of this epidemic.)
Not surprisingly, the whole feminist nightmare was conceived by two men, who, while writing, must have had one hand on the computer and one hand on something else. Meanwhile, Mary Lambert directs as if she is still making Madonna videos: transparently gay actors are cast as womanizers, Ward's lip-gloss plays a supporting role and everyone else seems to have been hired on the basis of how they look in a swimsuit. Politicians will also note how sex, drugs and booze abound in this PG-13 movie totally aimed at teens. Offensive? Nah, just laughably inane. Kudos to Ward, who gleefully dives into her low-rent Basic Instinct-predator role, even if she is woefully ill-equipped to carry it off.
For all you DVD lovers out there, there is a hilariously knowing, self-deprecating commentary by Ward and Heuring (who are now my two favorite people in the world) as well as deleted scenes and interviews with the cast (one of whom is clearly on drugs).
Warner Bros. studio executives would most likely rather die than release an edgy, thought-provoking film like Requiem for a Dream, yet they bankrolled this pile of rat droppings, which, justifiably, didn't make a plug nickel. Why am I wasting so much space on such an insignificant film? In the hopes that some greenlighter will stop and think, "Hmmm...maybe the public has more taste than we give them credit for." Hey, it could happen.