Rental Unit: "Pretty Persuasion" 

When we first meet her Kimberly is befriending Randa (Adi Schnall), a new girl and wealthy recent immigrant from Palestine, giving her a tour of the student body. There are a few halfhearted attempts to investigate the rich kids at this school, but mostly they remain nameless pretty faces in the background.

"Pretty Persuasion" concentrates on the subliminal animosity between Kimberly and her best friend, Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois), who compete for boys and drama class roles. Wrapped up in Kimberly's revenge scheme is a related attempt to bring down a hated English teacher (Ron Livingston) with trumped-up charges of sexual assault, and thereby gain fame for herself.

"Pretty Persuasion" wants to be as precocious as its main character, but while it reaches for satire it only attains the droll, eye-rolling tedium of a high-school dirty joke book. Presented as they are, the stabs at comedy seem like leftovers from a bad season of Saturday Night Live. "Pretty Persuasion" is a dumb movie that can't even manage an ending. It isn't persuasive in the slightest. It isn't even very pretty. — Wayne Melton


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