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First, let me point out that this movie has a completely misleading package -- it's nothing like 'Kids' or 'Cruel Intention', and it doesn't try to be. This coming-of-age story is told from the point of view of Cat (Swain) who is trying to hard to fit into other people's life while searching for her own identity. Swain does a convincing job at playing a confused and depressed young woman who needs to make important choices in her life, and the other actors are certainly better than some teen movies out there. It's not fast-paced, which means some viewers will be dissapointed: however, this is not 'Lolita 2' or 'Cruel Intention 3'. It is a character study, a slice of life of rich kids living in New York City, not a cheap-thrill, teen sex film. The only thing I'll complain about is this: shame on the production company and distributors to package this film under the title 'Tart' (it has absolutely nothing to do with it, and it's an insult to the scriptwriter and actors involved) and shame on them for letting the public believe that this is a film about sex, drugs and fast life. Packaged probably and re-titled, this film probably would have done quite well. Get it if you like character studies and dramas, but if you're looking for something like 'Cruel Intention', then you'll be dissapointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Much better than I expected!15 July 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this movie at a video store for $2.00 where they were giving away movies for free that didn't sell well. I had wanted to see this movie for a while but I never got around to it. Today I decided what the heck, I'll buy it, it was cheaper to buy it than it was to rent it. So anyway I was expecting a movie with a lot of sex, drugs, and an 'American Pie' type dialogue to boot. What I got was way different. There's hardly any sex (except for one scene from far away, where you can hardly see anything) and the movie was much more serious instead of cheesy (unlike the cover art leads you to believe). A lot have people have complained about a lack of a plot. The plot is there, it's just more drawn out. The movie was very realistic, basically it could have been a biography of any teenage girl's life. It doesn't end happily like most teen movies end, in fact it ends kinda sad but yet in the same sense it says, "life goes on keep plugging at it". I thought it was something any teenage girl could relate to. There aren't a lot of big stars in this movie, the biggest star today would be Mischa Barton who puts on a fake English accent. Anyway, I'm really surprised at all the negative reviews. Yes, the cover art and the movie title makes the movie appear to be some kind of soft-core porno but it's completely different. So never judge a movie by its cover and give it a chance. It's more about relating to it, than being entertained.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A "Tart" of a movie.17 Oct. 2002
- Published on Amazon.com
This is an OK movie, but it could have been a lot better. I watched this movie because I am a fan of Brad Renfro and Dominique Swain. Renfro's acting is quite good as usual in Tart and he is very believable in his role as a popular but troubled teenager. Dominique Swain however is mediocre and doesn't display her true acting talents. Melanie Griffith is credited on the movie case, but her total screen time is merely 20secs(I'm not kidding!). Tart is a movie that is targeted for the same audience as movies such as 'Cruel Intentions'. The DVD lacks any extra features (except for a 3min trailer). Rent the movie from a video store before you choose to buy it.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good Film - For Some People24 Aug. 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
Straight to the point. . . .there are a lot of mixed reviews here, but I would say that this movie is a really good film. Now, i'm in to the quirky, eye-catching, think you can't stomach what is going on with this film kinda movies that have young up and coming actors/actresses in it. Bijou Philips can always be spotted in most of the films, that's how you know it might fit the mold. Anyway, if you aren't into the crazy larry clark films such as "Kids" and "Bully", or any movies such as that, then this probably won't interest you a bit. Oh, and to that reviewer at the top. . . Megzi i believe their name was. . . .Mischa Barton who is great in the film, she doesn't throw on a fake english accent in the movie. . . she really is from London. . . do your research first!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good Movie, Bad TiTle22 July 2004
S. H RAPTIS
- Published on Amazon.com
This was a very good movie with a very bad title. I thought Swain did a great job showing the confusion that teens really do go through while they're trying to fit in. I definitely recommend it.
This was better than Cruel Intentions.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Nose candy? Want some?22 Aug. 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
For the first time in reviewing films, I found myself immediately uninterested in this story. I don't know if it was the way that it was filmed or the story behind the characters, but it felt bland, overused, and completely unoriginal. Within the first thirty minutes, I found myself rather apathetic with all the characters and the story. I felt as if I had seen this structure before, and Tart was providing nothing new to surprise me. After thinking that it may just be my mood, I stopped the film and chose to start it fresh in the morning, but the same feeling persisted. I just didn't care. That is not a good sign. The characters were bland. When I say bland, I literally mean that by watching them develop, you will never have any flavor hit your palate. The story seemed recycled, nearly to the point of plagiarism. Now, I am not saying that Christina Wayne stole this story, but she added nothing fresh to the perspective. The casting was horrid, the underlying symbolism and themes were so far lost that no critic could find them (nor the characters), and the stories were vague and sloppy. You knew nothing about anyone or anything, and instead of pushing more emphasis on the characters, we instead found ourselves with drugs, minor sex, and money pushed into our faces. These are themes we have seen in every film since the dawn of film time, yet somehow could not be creatively captured by Wayne.
What immediately pulled me away from this story? It was mainly the characters. I have seen most of Brad Renfro's work, and honestly he needs to redefine himself. Director Larry Clark has defined him, and oddly he cannot get out of that stereotypical character. Within the first twenty minutes of Renfro's screen time I was bored. I knew exactly what he was trying to portray and why. It was spectacular nor impressive, just repetitive. He needed to bring some excitement or suspense to his role, instead of just blandly playing this random socialite. Without a strong character, the final climax of this film comes instead as a letdown. Renfro did not showcase the best of his abilities in this film. While I am on the subject ... nobody showcased the best of their abilities. What is going on with Dominique Swain, outside of Lolita, I don't believe she has really emerged as an actress, and following-up with roles such as Cat Storm doesn't help. Bijou Phillips was the only actress that I witnessed actually try to bring something remarkable to the screen, sadly due to everyone else's horrid acting, she was lost. Rambling here and there, and honestly nearly forgotten about during the second act. Melanie Griffith was a pointless cast and most of this film's budget probably went to her TWO scenes that she was in. Maybe the rest of it went to the random guy from The Kids in the Hall, who desperately needs to place himself far away from this project.
My biggest problem, outside of the acting, was the pacing of this film. Nothing, and this is hard for me to say, but nothing gelled together. There were so many sub-stories happening throughout the course of the film that no actual substance was formed. The robberies, the teenage "angst and woe", the wealthy socialites learning how horrible real life is, the random Kids in the Hall guy, and even the ending just felt rushed and horribly edited together. With this shoddy craftsmanship the whole story never really formed any true shape. Family structures were never defined, characters were never given any emotion, and all we are left with are bits and pieces of honest leftovers. Wayne did not complete the task at hand.
While I hate to put the entire burden on the director, with this film I am left with little choice. With a horrid title that just screamed the complete opposite of what this film was about, with amateurish directional ability the cast pretty much was able to give every emotion in every scenes, leaving us with disgusting acting and poor developments, and with vague storytelling it is hard to place any "good" behind Tart. This was a film I had heard nothing about, and after viewing it I can see why. All Wayne has done with this film is random take excerpts from other films that have done a better job of defining all the elements above and cut all together to make the film Tart. It is hard for me to say this, but Wayne ruined this film. While I don't believe there was much to fully take from the story, any remaining elements of excitement were drained as Wayne took the helm. While most of the time you can credit some of the story, perhaps strong acting, or even the music, in Tart you can credit nothing. From the opening sequence until the end, I felt like I was swimming through very lumpy oatmeal. No consistency, no strength.
Overall, this film is a waste of your time. If you are searching for some deep symbolic elements or possibly some banter on our society, you will not find it in this film. While I know that was what Wayne was attempting to show, the final product seems like it was edited on an Etch-a-Sketch. It was an embarrassing film to sit through, and encourage nobody to pick it up. Wayne threw to the wind all the teachings of her Columbia University education and destroyed two hours of my life. Avoid at all costs!