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Film Review: 'The Pretty One'

Amy Tseng |
February 24, 2014 | 1:04 a.m. PST

Contributing Writer

"The Pretty One" (DADA Films)
"The Pretty One" (DADA Films)
From the title of the film to its cover photo, I could have immediately guessed that this movie was probably going to be about two girls (best friends or sisters), in which one is jealous of the other because the other one is “prettier.” Thus, the less good looking one decides to plant an evil scheme to sabotage the prettier one. I mean, I think I’ve seen enough of this generic plot. However, these were merely assumptions prior to watching the film. 

"The Pretty One" stars Zoe Kazan as twins Laurel and Audrey (kind of reminded me of Lindsay Lohan’s "The Parent Trap"), who are completely different in personality and lead very different lives. Audrey, the outgoing, more intelligent, and prettier one, is a real estate agent who moved to the city after their mother died. Laurel on the other hand, is the more timid introvert. She dresses in her dead mother’s clothes and looks as if she has never ventured outside of where she grew up. However, Laurel does have an amazing talent for art. In fact, she aspires to become a painter. As Audrey comes home to celebrate the twins’ birthday, she dies in a car accident just days after their birthday. Fortunately for Laurel, who was also in the accident, she survives. Mistaken for Audrey at the hospital, Laurel decides to play along with her sister’s identity, for she had always envied her sister’s image, success, and popularity among boys. Thus, Laurel starts to live her sister’s life as she “moves back” to the city.

"The Pretty One" is about love and finding one’s true identity. However most importantly, it is about realizing and accepting who you are. This classic tale of inspiring young teens and tweens to be yourself is just too cliché for a movie plot like this. There are hundreds of movies that have already been made with similar storylines. I enjoyed watching the film because it is one of those movies where you can really relax and enjoy the slow pace of the plot. However, this was also a problem for me. Because I never had to anticipate what would happen next, it felt like there was no element of excitement or anticipation for the viewer. By the end, I felt the film could be considered a “been there done that” sort of movie.

Despite the neutral to negative feelings I have towards “The Pretty One,” I do have to applaud Zoe Kazan’s portrayal of Laurel. She does a convincing job portraying the metamorphosis of Laurel from a girl who has never stepped foot outside her surroundings to a sophisticated woman who is not afraid to be who she is. That transformation throughout the movie was a rapid one; however, it felt as if I was going through the process with her, maturing into a fearless female.

If you're suffering from an identity crisis, I recommend this film to you. However, other than that, I’d say that this one hour and thirty-five minutes is not worth it. Save it and do something more worth your time.

Reach Contributor Amy Tseng by email.



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