"READ IT AND WEEP"
by Rachel Buccicone
|| MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Kay Panabaker as JAMIE BARTLETT
Danielle Panabaker as IS
Jason Dolley as CONNOR
Alexander Krosney as HARMONY
Marquise C. Brown as LINDSAY
Directed by: Paul Hoen
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Upon viewing Disney’s “Read it and Weep”, I discovered the key indicator of a truly greedy film corporation: If you can’t think up an original story, rip off one you’ve already done.
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“Read it and Weep” is the story of a high school girl and her accidental propulsion into stardom. Jamie Bartlett (Kay Panabaker) keeps a journal on her computer full of drawings, crazy fonts and creativity. Jamie has constructed her journal into a fictional retelling of reality wherein Jamie lives through her alter ego Isabella or just “Is”. Unfortunately, an accident lands a journal chapter in the submission box for a writing contest, and, guess what, she won.
Now publishers are interested in more chapters for the publishing of a book, which, low and behold, puts her on the best-selling list. Dorky little Jamie is now a superstar both inside and out of her high school. Stardom, of course, goes to her head as she neglects her friends to hang out with the popular crowd and gains the attention of the class hunk while ignoring the less hunky guy who liked her all along.
Of course nothing lasts forever. When Jamie reveals on a live talk show that her book is based on reality, the entire school sees how offensively she has portrayed each of them. Of course this story would never be interesting enough if Jamie didn’t have an imaginary “Is” controlling her actions.
If this plot doesn’t sound at all familiar, think “The Princess Diaries”. Consider the following similarities: Dorky girl unwillingly becomes famous. Girl is now accepted by evil popular girl who happens to be dating the boy with whom our heroine is infatuated. Male love interest dumps popular girl to pursue the famous one. Our girl blows off important cause of best friend to enjoy her new-found popularity. In the end, girl discovers the male friend who liked her before fame and gives him a smooch.
I’ve nearly lost track of which movie I’m talking about. “Read it and Weep” is little more than a G-rated, lousy rip-off of “The Princess Diaries” with a few minor details changed. The film is full of jokes that fall flat and actors who wish they were Julie Andrews.
The DVD doesn’t offer much. A music video for one of the songs, a making of “Read it and Weep” and interviews with cast members: Do they keep journals?
I can’t think of one reason to justify buying this movie. If it happens to be on TV and you have a child that needs to learn a lesson about popularity, then maybe watch it. Otherwise, when you see it at Hollywood Video, keep on walking.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Full Screen (1.33:1). English Language Track. English Subtitles.