Monday, July 20, 2009
Unbeknown to me, St Trinian's is the sixth in a long-running series of films based on the works of cartoonist Ronald Searle. The first four films form a series, starting with The Belles of St Trinian's in 1954, with sequels in 1957, 1960, 1966, and then The Wildcats of St Trinian's in 1980.
The current version starring Rupert Everett and Colin Firth has the potential to be entertaining, but if falls way short of the mark. Although, it's so off, on every level, that it also has the potential of being a kitschy cult-like flick, you wind up seeing again and again on FX.
Everett plays a dual role of formerly well-to-do, brother and sister, Camilla and Carnaby. Camilla runs St. Trinians, which used to be a posh boarding school, but is now little more than a home for wayward and delinquent girls. Carnaby, suddenly decides to drop his well-mannered, highly educated teenage daughter, Annabelle (Talulah Riley) at the school. This storyline is never fully explained, however due to her upbringing, she of course doesn't fit in with the other girls.
"The other girls", consist of a sleek Katy Perry type named Kelly (Gemma Arterton) who refers to herself as the "Head Girl", a brainiac, a trio of Paris Hilton's, a mixed race glamour punk girl, and a few other assorteds, along with a gaggle of 6-10 year olds.
Firth plays his usual stick-up-the-ass role, this time as Education Minister. He and Camilla have an adversarial relationship, due to the fact his job is to bring discipline and order to the school, but they also have a flirtatious old flame thing going on at the same time. And since Camilla is played by Everett, hilarity is supposed to ensue.
The other B plot is the fact that the school is in financial ruin and about to go under, until the girls devise a ridiculous plan to steal the famous painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring".
The problem with the film is there's no flow, no arc, you have a cast full of colorful characters that never really do anything, the girls hardly cause any trouble,(food footnote:not even a food fight) Annabelle begins to fit in way too soon and too easily. The girls relationship with Camilla is neither here nor there. In other words, a very poorly written script. Which is exactly why it's been rolling around film festivals since 2007, instead of having a wide release.
I will say, it has a catchy theme song and a ambitious film website: http://www.sttriniansmovie.co.uk/sttrinians.html
Rating: Pretty 4th Toe