In 1988, Heathers provided a refreshing kick in the ass to the glut of Hughesian high school comedies of such quality as Can’t Buy Me Love. Heathers was dark, satirical, chock full o’ clever hipspeak, and, above all, filled with jokes.
In some bizarre twist of harmonic convergence, we have entered a new age. The Can’t Hardly Waits and She’s All Thats and 10 Things I Hate About Yous and Cruel Intentionses have aligned as predicted by the Mayans one thousand years ago.
It would only seem appropriate that in the face of all this teen angst bullshit, some sort of new hope -- a neo-Heathers -- would be born of a Virgin Mother or burst from the head of Zeus to do battle with the Clearisil ads masquerading as movies.
Jawbreaker, from a distance, seems like it could fit the bill. But Jawbreaker, although certainly dark, is never satirical. In fact, the movie is too dark, bordering on sad at times. Jawbreaker is filled with hipspeak and more hipspeak, but it is never clever and mostly bitchy. And, the worst offense of all, no jokes.
This disturbing trend in “comedies” has to be curbed. Crazy situations and pop culture references are not enough. Glorious set ups and punchlines. More jokes! Please, for the love of Jove, don’t let the joke die. Don’t let it be sitcomed away from us! Save the everloving joke!
To be sure, Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz and Judy Greer are very attractive, even in Katey Segal hot pants and halters. And the soundtrack is pretty damned good, too -- especially that infectious pop ditty from Imperial Teen. But they are not enough to save this abysmal exercise in high school cool.