Starring: Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Katherine Bailess
Director: Robert Iscove
Running Time: 81 mins
From Justin To Kelly is an American film about a group of guys and a group of girls who go to Fort Lauderdale during spring break. Upon reaching the manic beaches of Florida, the two groups go looking for love, which two of their members find through a shared love of singing.
This is film is atrocious. Apart from being utterly tedious and painfully overlong (about 81 minutes so), From Justin To Kelly is a horrific display of brain-dead teenage ‘fantasy’, placing you in the company of four or so completely detestable main characters amidst a sea of spring break horror. There’s nothing in the film to make you laugh, nor will anything make you care about the relationships the characters seem to place so much importance on. And the songs are horrific.
Normally, I don’t like to attack a film based on how it differs from my own morals, but From Justin To Kelly goes a little too far for me to ignore it. I’m normally perfectly happy to turn a blind eye to excessive objectification of men and women and a tendency to show people partying like animals as the life we should aspire to, but when a film doesn’t offer anything else – not even a moment of laughter of joy – it becomes a real problem.
If there’s one thing I hate most about this film, it’s the fact that the characters, almost all of whom behave horrifically, as if they’re brain-dead vessels only compelled to live by their desire to ‘pick up chicks/guys’, don’t really get any sort of comeuppance. The film’s main story line attempts to do this, by making the shallowest character of all not have a fairytale ending, however it feels far too lenient for what has gone on before. Apart from that, however, there’s an endless stream of detestable teenagers who for some reason get a happy ending that they just don’t deserve.
This whole problem is a debacle right from the start of the film, and it immediately takes away any reason that I would want to get to know the main characters. As a result, it’s almost impossible to care about any of the romances that spring up throughout the film. Worse than the shallow machinations of the likes of Mean Girls, From Justin To Kelly features countless spring break flings, but it doesn’t provide any reason for you to care about the characters and the possible fate of any relationships, making for a truly tedious watch.
And then it turns into a musical. The film is horrific and painful enough already, and then the characters just start singing out of the blue. Again. And again. And again. Even if you know that this is a musical beforehand, you’ll be taken by surprise when the music first starts, because it feels so awkward and so out of place. What’s worse is that the songs are absolutely terrible. As fun a popstar as Kelly Clarkson can be, the film has almost no good musical numbers (the only bearable one being stretched out for a good five minutes at the end of the film), and the constant tendency to break out into song with the same confidence as a far superior musical is horrifying to see.
Overall, I hated From Justin To Kelly. Completely devoid of any moral certainty, and lacking anything slightly resembling interesting or even likable characters, the film is a constant battle to watch, against shallow teenage ‘idols’, tedious storytelling and awful music, which is why I’m giving it a 2.0.