- Director:Tom Bezucha
- Cast:Katie Cassidy, Selena Gomez, Andie MacDowell, Leighton Meester, Corey Monteith
- Release Date:September 22, 2011
- Distributor:20th Century Fox
- Running time:109 minutes
- Film Worth:$10.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
The locations make for enjoyable viewing, but disappointingly this bland teenage drama never transcends its formulaic approach.
Three young American women are about to set off for Paris. Two of the girls, Grace (Selena Gomez) and Emma (Katie Cassidy), are best friends, while the third, Meg (Leighton Meester), Grace's step-sister-to-be, is an unwilling participant, sent along to chaperone the others. High expectations are predictably dashed when their tour is a disaster, their accommodation is uninhabitable, and even the weather is disappointing. When sheltering from rain in a luxurious, up-market hotel, an irresistible opportunity to see Europe from a different perspective presents itself. Grace has an incredible resemblance to a British heiress and socialite, Cordelia Winthrop Scott, who is also supposed to be in France. When Cordelia decides to shirk her responsibilities and avoid a charity ball in Monte Carlo held in her honour, the three Americans decide that Grace can take her place. Deceiving all around them, they fly by private jet to Monaco, and take over Cordelia's suite in a palatial hotel.
It's puzzling to see Nicole Kidman's name listed amongst the producers of this film. Her company, Blossom Films, debuted with the challenging, thought-provoking Rabbit Hole, and the lightweight Monte Carlo seems an unusual choice for its second feature. Clearly aimed at the female, teenage market, this story has been done many times before.
The film's settings in Paris and Monaco are appealing, although many of the scenes were actually shot in Budapest, where costs are much lower and access is easier. The performances are fine, given that no one has really been called upon to stretch themselves. It's a surprise to see English comedian Catherine Tate playing a pivotal role as Cordelia's aunt, and unfortunately, she looks surprised too, as though she's wandered on to the wrong film set. Monte Carlo is pitched low, with its stereotypical characters, laboured story and obvious outcomes. Surely the teen market deserves more...