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The Lion's Roar

Sugar and Spice

Sugar+and+Spice

I originally wanted to watch Sugar and Spice after seeing images from the movie on Pinterest, mostly because the school that the girls go to is Lincoln High School with the school colors of red, white, and blue: resemblent to my own school. However, it ended up being a very silly, campy movie. If you enjoy goofy high school movies, this is a really fun example. I am thinking of suggesting the film to my cheer team because it focuses on the connectedness of female friendships, and it is so wacky and sweet that you cannot help but enjoy watching it. 

The story follows the narration of Lisa Janusch, a bitter teen girl ratting out her school’s cheer team to authorities after they have been arrested. You can immediately tell the light-hearted tone of the film, though, since when they take their mugshots, they are all posing as if it was just any other group photo. Lisa is an unreliable narrator, which is played for laughs, as she tells the officers that these girls are rude and that they stole her spot on the A-team (think of it like the varsity counterpart) of her school’s cheer squad, despite scenes showing that Lisa simply is not very good and is herself, selfish and judgmental. One thing I love about this movie is how, although it is meant to be a parody of the stereotypes of American high school, our main group of cheerleaders is shown to have merit in their strong friendship with each other, literally willing to do anything for their friends. Also, our main character, Diane Weston, is the most popular girl in school and is dating the most popular football player at school, but it is clear that she gains this popularity not just by her beauty, but also her incredible kindness. She is such a harmless character that even when she acts incredibly stupid, it ends up coming across as endearing. Additionally, her relationship with her boyfriend is so genuine and healthy, even if it is silly.

The comedy of this film is absurdist, which means I, of course, loved it immensely. Each main character has a small, ridiculous reoccurring gag that is so goofy, they never stop being funny. One member, Hannah, is uber-Christian despite later being involved in a crime and simply in general, not being all that conservative. Cleo is completely infatuated with Conan O’Brien, bringing him up all the time. Kansas is rebellious because her mom is in prison. Lucy is super geeky and very smart, to the point of neuroticism. As for Diane, she is pretty generally ‘perfect’, which is why Lisa’s narration of her is hilarious as she is very jealous of her but cannot find any way to insult her accurately. Diane’s boyfriend, Jack Bartlett, is a classic, himbo: dumb, pretty, and athletic. The main turning point of the movie is when Diane realizes she is pregnant, and her misguided attempts to try to maintain herself. The scene where Diana and Jack apply for a mortgage is hilarious because the two attempt to act grown-up despite still being teenagers and having very juvenile personalities. In general, most of the humor is pretty inoffensive and goofy, although there are occasional homophobic jokes, so it has not aged perfectly. Nonetheless, this kind of silly movie is pretty timeless if you are looking for a quick movie to watch with friends. 

The film is nostalgic and will appeal to those who like early 2000s comedies and teen films. The soundtrack, aesthetics, and themes are a perfect representation of the genre, and I am surprised it is not more popular. I watched it a bunch of times this past homecoming season, and the soundtrack plays its rounds in my car every cheer competition I go to. I watched this movie on YouTube, where it is available free with ads, but you can also find it on Amazon Prime and Apple TV for $3.99.

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Camila Tabora, Editor in Chief (Magazine)

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