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Jawbreaker (1999)

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Three of the most popular girls at Reagan High accidentally kill the prom queen with a jawbreaker when a kidnapping goes horribly wrong.

Director:

Darren Stein

Writer:

Darren Stein
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Popularity
3,873 ( 213)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rose McGowan ... Courtney
Rebecca Gayheart ... Julie
Julie Benz ... Marcie
Judy Greer ... Fern
Chad Christ ... Zack
Ethan Erickson ... Dane Sanders
Tatyana Ali ... Brenda
Charlotte Ayanna ... Liz Purr
Jeff Conaway ... Marcie's Father
William Katt ... Mr. Purr
P.J. Soles ... Mrs. Purr
The Donnas ... Themselves
Marilyn Manson ... The Stranger
Carol Kane ... Ms. Sherwood
Pam Grier ... Detective Vera Cruz
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Storyline

In what was meant as a harmless birthday prank, three of Reagan High School's most popular girls, Julie, Marcie, and Courtney pretend to kidnap their friend, the latter shoving a jawbreaker into the victim's mouth to keep her from screaming. Their plan goes awry when the girl accidentally swallows the jawbreaker, choking to death. The cool and calculating Courtney tries to cover the crime but is found out by school geek Fern Mayo. In return for her silence, Courtney transforms the gawky Fern into the stylishly beautiful Vylette, leaving the conscience-stricken Julie out in the cold, threatening to set her up for the girl's murder if she breaks her silence. Written by Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Death totally bites. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and violence, all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jawbreaker See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,603,425, 21 February 1999

Gross USA:

$3,117,085

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,117,085
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Courtney's tattoo was actually Rose McGowan's real tattoo of herself. Initially they tried to cover it up with makeup, but it didn't work. Removing with CGI was too expensive, so they opted to leave it because it added more edge to Courtney's character. See more »

Goofs

When the girls are taking Liz up to her room to make it seem like rape, when they are half way up the stairs you can see Liz's toes move. See more »

Quotes

Marcie: How about some public affection, girls?
See more »

Connections

References Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Flow
Written by Gary Clark, Eric Pressley and Keely Hawkes
Performed by Transister
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets and Virgin Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Heathers? Nope ... just a weed.
23 January 2001 | by SilentTypeSee all my reviews

`Jawbreaker' is an obvious aspirant to the mantle of the legendary `Heathers' - one of the smartest, sassiest, and sharpest teen movies ever made. An ostensibly similar plot sees the most popular - and most spiteful - clique at school accidentally murder their classmate. The school nerd is their only witness. In return for her silence, they agree to make her over in their image, tempting her with the promise of popularity. Unfortunately, `Jawbreaker' lacks everything that made `Heathers' great. As a `Clueless on Crack' it fares a little better - but, given the intriguing possibilities of its concept, is still a disappointment.

Where the earlier movie was intelligently malevolent, `Jawbreaker' is a surprisingly mean-spirited film. Its characters never rise above caricatures, making them difficult to empathise with. The journey of Fern `Mayonnaise' Mayo from school nerd the babelicious Vylette is hollow and unconvincing. Unlike Veronica Sawyer of `Heathers' who undergoes a similar transformation, Vylette seems to gain precious little wisdom from her experiences. Perhaps this has to do with the nails-on-a-blackboard performance of Judy Greer, who seems to believe she is in a John Waters film. This would be fine, if `Jawbreaker' could decide whether it is one or not.

A lazy and sometimes implausible script hanging uneasily between reality, satire, and surrealism offers some clever one liners and sequences, but does little to showcase the talents occasionally on offer. Rose McGowan is the most enjoyable thing about the film for the simple reason that it's clear she isn't taking proceedings too seriously. Rebecca Gayheart's performance is also refreshing; a puddle of reality within the screeching teen-stereotype world around her which throws Judy Greer's Fern/Vylette into even higher relief. Both act as if they are in a better film.

Perhaps the real difference between the two is that `Heathers' had heart and actual insight. `Jawbreaker's heart is as hollow as the view it espouses: it's bad to murder your friend, but it's worse to be a b*tch.


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