College greek-centric movies come in two varieties: those where nerds try to become accepted, and Animal House.  Sydney White is definitely closer to the former but falls more accurately into a new category: modern retelling of fairytales.

Amanda Bynes and John SnyderSydney White has much more in common with Snow White than just a last name.   The modern retelling of the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale takes place not in some forest once upon a time but on the college campus of major university somewhere in the southeast.

Don’t let the change of setting fool you there is no doubt this is direct translation of Snow White.   But you should not be surprised with this.   Director Joe Nussbaum also brought us 2004’s sleepover, which was simply Cinderella in high school. 

The film is your typical teeniebopper girl movie, so if you are between the ages of nine and sixteen, just stop reading this right now and go se the movie. You’ll love it. For the rest of us who will hold our noses up at anything that doesn’t at least have an explosion or a musical score composed by John Williams this review is for you.

The Snow White references start out subtly with the popular sorority president checking her myspace page to make sure she’s the hottest girl on campus and referring to herself as “Fairest of them all.”  Okay I know it’s not that subtle but it was really the first reference and I still thought I was watching the female version of “Revenge of the Nerds.”

What ultimately is the funniest joke in the film and is the most intelligent piece of humor therein is the 2001: A Pace Odyssey Reference in which seven nerds see a brazier for the fist time and marvel at it as the apes do in Stanley Kuberick’s classic film.

But it is those seven dorks (do you see how obviously this is Snow White) become endearing characters who are not outcast for beng wrong, they prove that they are outcast because others are wrong.   Though continuing with the fairytale to the smallest details all seven of them can be described at Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful and Doc.

What starts out as a comment on modern college Greek life, but done with over the top writing and barely believable dialogue, turns into the fairytale analogy quickly enough you forget how hard it must have been to maintain a strait face while delving those lines. 

There are plenty of opportunities to point out fairy tale references. In fact that helps keep the movie paced well as you have no time to get bored because you’re looking for that next reference.  They’re all in there, from the magic mirror, the evil queen, and a poisoned apple (computer).

Amanda Bynes is by far the strongest actress in the main cast.  Her acting ability is so strong; in fact, that she even seems to overpower her own character with her speaking ability.  Nobody else really delivers an exceptionally memorable performance; that is except for Matt Long who looks like Tom Cruse and Rob Low had a kid. Does scientology permit that?  John Snyder (Yes, Bo Duke) plays Sydney’s father and has found a home playing the surprisingly wise father figure.

Sydney White is a fairy tale for girls not quite ready for the reality of Tom Wolfe’s vision of college, but still innocent enough to marvel at the opportunity college offers.

Openng September 21, the movie is rated PG-13 for mild suggestive dialogue and swearing, there is nothing too offensive, and could have almost gotten by with a PG.

Be Sociable, Share!