Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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'Uptown Girls' will get you down

Published August 18, 2003

Movie: Uptown Girls

Rating: PG

Summary: Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy, Just Married, Clueless) is the partying socialite daughter of a rock star who tragically died (with her mom) in a plane crash several years before. She inherits a lot of money, which her not-so-honest accountant decides to take. She suddenly is forced to move out of her stylish New York penthouse and get a job reeling in some income of her own. She reluctantly takes a position as the nanny of the extremely gifted and excessively mature, but emotionally neglected daughter (Dakota Fanning) of a local record executive (Heather Locklear). It becomes her mission to loosen up this little girl, Ray (Dakota Fanning). Ray's goal is to get Molly to act her age and not her shoe size. In the process, they realize they have more in common than they thought possible. Meanwhile, Molly is trying to figure out her relationship with aspiring singer/songwriter Neal (Jesse Spencer), who is on the brink of making it big (thanks in large part to Molly).

My View: This is the kind of film you truly want to enjoy because it has the potential to be a really sweet story, yet you can't quite bring yourself to like it. It was painfully annoying to watch Brittany Murphy in this role. Her acting seemed absolutely appalling, or maybe it was just the character she was playing. She might have done an absolutely brilliant job, but I left the theater totally convinced that she's a complete ditz. Dakota Fanning's high level of intelligence is quite obvious; she did an admirable job portraying her character, in spite of the atrocious script with which she had to work. The hokey ending was so bad that "hokey" is almost too kind a word to describe it. If there were one thing that could have saved the film, Fanning's performance would have been it, but not even that was enough to salvage this wreckage.

Recommendations: You're not getting any from me.

Grade: F

- Billy Norris, 15, is in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

[Last modified August 15, 2003, 11:58:04]

Here's the rest of today's Xpress

  • 'Uptown Girls' will get you down
  • Getting it down on paper
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