When I was in high school, I was obsessed with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I don't really know why I was so infatuated with her, but I had pictures of her all over my walls. At the time, I didn't even watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (never fear, I finally came to my senses and started watching it!), so I guess I just thought she was really beautiful.
Fourteen years ago today, Cruel Intentions was released, and I feel I must celebrate it, as well as shoot myself for realizing how old I am. Intentions was one of the more successful films in the late 90s/early 00s cannon of teen films. Remember that time? She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, Never Been Kissed, Jawbreaker, American Pie. To quote Uncle Frank, "I could go on forever, baby!"
Cruel Intentions, a modernization of the classic "Les Liaisons dangereuses," centered around step siblings Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn (SMG), two incredibly bored (and incredibly rich and stylish) brats who have nothing to do but fuck with the love lives of the people around them. Kathryn challenges her bro that he can't bed the new headmaster's saintly daughter, Annette (Reese Witherspoon), before the new school year begins. Yes, they are still in high school. Believe it. If Sebastian succeeds, he gets to boink Kathryn, but if he fails, Kathryn gets his beloved car.
It's all very campy and soapy, but you know you love it! Girls kiss girls, Christine Baranski wears Chanel, and Ryan Phillippe shows his tush. It was a simpler time. Sigh.
You wanna know what I was trying to conquer in high school? Algebra! I couldn't figure out what x meant, let alone maneuver through the sexual politics of mature-looking classmates! I do remember my mother thinking it quite strange that I didn't really talk about how much I loved Sarah Michelle.
I was too focused on replicating her dark blue bedroom that her character entertained men in. This exchange also happened:
(After Ryan Phillippe rejects SMG, she throws a champagne glass at him, and it breaks on the door as he closes it.)
Me: I want to do that someday.
Me: Have a dramatic moment and then throw a glass.
Mom: Don't do that. You'll just have to clean it up.
I love everything about this movie, and you know you do too. I love Sarah Michelle Gellar to this day. I feel like if the movie came out later, Gellar would have been asked to star as Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl. Just think about it. My favorite image of the movie, however, is near the end.
After Kathryn gets her comeuppance, there is a tight shot on her face, and one single tear slowly rolls down her face. As the tear comes down, Gellar looks up, and she is sooo ugly and vulnerable. I LOVE IT!!! So, as you rummage to find your well-worn copy, I will leave you with my beloved Sarah Michelle.