A scene from 'The In Crowd'
Courtesy Photo
1/2* stars 108 minutes | Rated: PG-13
Opened: Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Directed by Mary Lambert

Starring Susan Ward, Lori Heuring, Matthew Settle, Nathan Bexton, Tess Harper, Laurie Fortier, Kim Muprhy, Jay R. Ferguson, A.J. Buckley, Katharine Towne & Daniel Hugh Kelly


Even the high camp factor can't make this idiotic teen trash-fest worth the rental price. Try the great guilty pleasures "Cruel Intentions" or "Wild Things" instead.

   VIDEO RELEASE: 11.28.2000


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Trashy, catty "In Crowd" plot just a front for experiment in pushing the boundaries of PG-13 nakedness

By Rob Blackwelder

Designed for maximum sexploitation while still coming in under the PG-13 mark, "The In Crowd" is a movie about back-stabbing, barely legal country club hotties with WonderBra wardrobes and soap opera lives.

It has membrane-thin plot about a sultry teenage psych ward out-patient (Lori Heuring) who gets a job at a Hamptons resort and falls in with the manipulative queen bee of the trust fund pack. It stars an assemblage interchangeable daytime drama cast-offs who meow their way through one-dimensional roles that don't require talent so much as shampoo commercial hair and firm, round breasts.

The primary mission of this vaguely deliberate festival of fresh-faced actress indignity seems to be crowbarring into the narrative as many cheap peeks at naked boobs as possible. See-through bras and wet white shirts are abundant. On a couple occasions, the movie grinds to a halt for a quick glimpse of bare nipple. And just for good measure, there's a little girl-girl action thrown in.

When it's not surfing the bronzed cleavage of its dime-a-dozen cast, "The In Crowd" follows Heuring ("The Newton Boys") as Adrien, a troubled outcast working as a cabana girl. She has learned to be tough, but isn't bright enough to get suspicious when she's taken under the wing of Benz-driving hussy Brittney (comely "Sunset Beach" and "All My Children" alum Susan Ward) and introduced to her bare skin and Sak's Fifth Avenue lifestyle.

Brittney takes Adrien to parties and sets her up with pretty boys, while also setting her up to take a fall for a murder later in the movie. (Don't even try to make sense of that.) When Adrien finally starts to catch on that her bimbo benefactor might have ulterior motives, instead of just walking away she stars poking around for skeletons in Brittany's closet and discovers the rich brat has a missing sister that's Adrien's spitting image. Ooo, what could it mean?

Directed by Mary Lambert, the woman behind the grasping-at-straws horror movie "Pet Sematary" and its even sorrier sequel, "The In Crowd" is the kind of discombobulated but straight-faced, high-gloss rubbish usually regulated to midnight showings on Cinemax.

Such gratuitously trashy movies can be self-irreverent fun (see the deftly sleazy "Wild Things"), when executed with a big wink and a little quality control (in this film the cinematographer can't even manage a centered two-shot). But "In Crowd" fails to even tell a coherent story. Although several ham-fisted scenes hint at what Brittney is really up to, they're so abbreviated, so out of character and so randomly scattered throughout the picture that there's no way to make sense of them until all the beans are spilled just before the cat-fight finale.

Porno theater patrons who stumble into this pic purely for its endless landscape of girlie grillwork will get their money's worth. Everybody else, don't say I didn't warn you.

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