John Tucker Must Die

Rated 2.0

When three high-school girls (Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel) discover that the hottest guy in school (Jesse Metcalfe) is cheating on all of them, they enlist the help of the new girl in town (Brittany Snow) to get even with him. The premise of Jeff Lowell’s script is laboriously contrived, and the generally cornball jokes betray his background in second-rank sitcoms (Spin City, Just Shoot Me!, Bless This House, etc.). On the plus side, the cast is appealing and easy on the eye (they’ll all no doubt be able to establish successful careers making Jeep Cherokee commercials and posing for the Coldwater Creek catalog), and Metcalfe even shows a promising flair for comedy. There are no surprises, but at least director Betty Thomas zips through the material in a mercifully swift 87 minutes.