Not a big fan of Wizards of Waverly Place, Selena Gomez or dramatic team romps, Monte Carlo looked like an easy film to trash from the get-go. It seemed like it had the makings of “girlie” written all over it. However, when Monte Carlo ended in my Blu-Ray player, I found a new appreciation for Gomez and her co-stars Katie Cassidy, “Melrose Place” and Leighton Meester, “Gossip Girl”.
Gomez is adorable as Grace Ann Bennett and her rich and stuffy counterpart Cordelia Winthrop-Scott. Grace leads us through an adventure of lifetime, bonding with Theo Marchand (Pierre Boulanger in his first English speaking role) through a series of lies and cover-ups as she pretends to be Cordelia. Trouble emerges as the lies grow larger and her friends find themselves emerged in steamy French romances.
Originally reported to be a new film for producer Nicole Kidman, the Monte Carlo story transferred well to the youthfulness of Gomez, giving the teen actress her first mature role in the process. It’s easy to notice that this was originally intended for a more mature actress, as some of the scenes and senerios aren’t your usual teen fair. However, it also seems as if it was written perfectly for Gomez, as the 19-year old singer/actress grows up.
Overall the acting is a cut above for this sort of film, particularly the supporting lineup of boyfriends, including a strong English debut for Boulanger, who will most likely be the next go-to-guy for those upcoming romantic leads. His performance and character was one with true dreamboat qualities – attractive, smart, caring and rich.
Director Thomas Bezucha brings a freshness to this tale of mistaken identity. Monte Carlo was not just another teen girlie film, it was a decent film with a great cast and served as an enjoyable hour and a half romp around France and Monte Carlo.