Video Views

?Drive Me Crazy.? Rated: PG-13. I give it a 3 on a scale of 5 for teenagers and preteens; I give it a 2 on a scale of 5 for late teens and adults.

Here?s the test for whether a video viewer will enjoy ?Drive Me Crazy,? starring Melissa Joan Hart:

(1) Are you a huge Britney Spears fan?

(2) Are you a fan of all the Britney Spears spinoff groups?

(3) Do you read YM?

(4) Is is possible to believe Hart is still in high school? (She?s 23 years old in real life.)

(5) Are your cable channels of choice Nickelodeon and Disney?

Answer ?yes? to at least four of the five and head on down to rent this latest video version of a high school romance non-thriller.

This is the kind of movie that was beyond predictable. The second Nicole (Hart) and her neighbor Chase (Adrien Grenier) appeared on the screen together, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. They would get together, somehow, some way.

To further insult the viewer?s intelligence, Nicole?s mother hammers home the point by asking why the two no longer hang out together like they did as kids.

But that foreshadowing, with all the subtlety of a two-by-four up the side of the head, won?t bother the Britney generation, who will be caught up in the fashions, the fads and the friends.

Our story begins with Nicole setting her sites on Brad (Gabriel Carpenter), a hunky athlete who hasn?t quite asked her to the school?s centennial bash.

Chase?s love interest, on the other hand, is a dark and socially-conscious Dulcie (Ali Larter). She is too interested in civil disobedience and saving lab rats to address the emotional needs of Chase.

When both teens are dumped by their significant others, they naturally gravitate to each other. They strike a deal in which Chase will take Nicole to the centennial dance while each works on getting the other together with his or her intended.

In the meantime, Chase?s friends are losing confidence in him, and Nicole?s best bud Alicia (Susan May Pratt) is plotting against her for reasons that I never remotely understood.

These are shallow characters living shallow lives. I always enjoyed Hart as Clarissa, explaining it all on Nick. She carries that same sarcastic edge with her in ?Drive Me Crazy,? but somehow it doesn?t work as well in a more mature PG-13, four-letter word flick.

And, therein lies the caution for parents of youngsters who plan to view this movie at a friend?s slumber party.

For the most part it is innocent enough. There is no nudity or sexual content beyond earnest kissing. But, the plot displays with alcohol and drug use in a permissive tone, and language includes most words that could be heard in a high school hallway, at least one of which begins with ?s? and one with ?f.?

In general, ?Drive Me Crazy? consists of 90 minutes of high school fluff, a harmless yet mundane tale that could be found in any number of recent movies aimed at middle school and early high school audiences.

And the scariest part? I found it no less than mildly engaging.

Bob Wade is a local video enthusiast. The videos he reviews come courtesy of Radio Shack/Quick Flick, 110 N. Main, Hillsboro.

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