Buy Me Love
(2002) - Touchstone (Buena Vista)
by Graham Greenlee of The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): C+/C/F
Specs and Features
94 mins, PG-13, full-frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single layered,
Amaray keep case packaging, film-themed menu screen, scene access
(16 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0), subtitles: English
jocks. My side, your side. It's all bullshit. It's hard enough just
trying to be yourself."
For some, the teen comedies of the 1980's are a reminder of their
teenage years, a throwback to when your biggest worry was whom you
were going to prom with. But as I was born in the 1980's, my film
memories are made up of Who Framed Roger
Rabbit? and Batman,
and that's it. I was even a little young when Clueless
came out for it to really impact me. So "my" teen movies
were those Freddie Prize Jr. gems, like She's
All That. (Oh, such wonderful memories.) So it's a bit
odd for me to watch any teen movie, let alone one from a different
generation as mine.
While I can't say I absolutely love Can't
Buy My Love, its cute charm did entertain me for 94
minutes. The film, which makes good use of the song from the
Beatles, stars Patrick Dempsey as nerdy Ronald, a wallflower and
social outcast. Since the seventh grade, he's been in love with
Cindy (Amanda Peterson) the captain of the cheerleaders, and would
do anything to be her boyfriend, unlikely as it is. But he does get
an opportunity, when Cindy has ruined her mother's suede outfit and
needs to buy a new one before her mother finds out. The store won't
take a return, and a new outfit will put her back a thousand dollars
she doesn't have.
Ronald just happens to have a thousand dollars saved up, and buys
her the new outfit with one condition: that she has to be his
girlfriend at school for one month. She reluctantly agrees, and
Ronald soon becomes the most popular kid in school thanks to his
trophy girlfriend. But (you guessed it) complications arise when
Cindy falls in love with Ronald, and Ronald has gotten a head so
large that he's forgotten that she's his dream girl.
With all due respect, Can't Buy Me Love
is a pretty bad film. Not all that well produced to begin with, its
hook is so lazy and obvious. The story moves from plot point to plot
point, and we never really get to know or like these characters
enough to be bothered when one gets their heart broken. Still, it
isn't without any merit. The only reason why the film is so loved
and remembered would be thanks to Patrick Dempsey, who has great
charisma and is very comfortable in the role. In my opinion, Dempsey
is an underrated performer anyway, who is usually wasted in his
roles. (Like his great but totally misused recurring character on
Will & Grace a few years
ago.) But Ronald Miller is so perfect for him, and it's a great
showcase for Dempsey to show off his talent.
The film could have been presented a bit better on this disc, but
I'm sure fans of the film will be happy enough that it's on disc at
all. First up is the video, which is generally clear, no grain or
compression problems. The blacks and flesh tones are decent. The
transfer is full-frame, which is unfortunate. The audio is presented
in a 2.0 stereo remix, and is decent as well - nothing impressive,
but everything sounds clear and the dialogue is always
understandable. If you're looking for extras, look somewhere else.
There's nothing here.
Can't Buy Me Love, oddly,
works - even though the leads have no chemistry whatsoever. The odd
moments of hilarity (like when Ronald mistakes American
Bandstand for an African interpretive dance program on
PBS) and Dempsey make this watchable, and ultimately, solid fluff.