Sugar and Spice
Bank-robbing cheerleaders—how’s that for a high concept? Director Francine McDougall and writer Mandy Nelson think it’s too cute for words. But like their perky little anti-heroines, who research their big heist by renting a lot of caper-film videos—Heat
, Reservoir Dogs
, Point Break
and so forth—McDougall and Nelson seem to have put their film together from spare pieces of Heathers
, 10 Things I Hate About You
, Bring It On
and the collected works of John Hughes. The cute young cast (Marley Shelton, James Marsden, Mena Suvari, Marla Sokoloff) give it their all, but the story is lumpy and run-of-the-mill, the pop-culture references are strained and distracting (especially when all the girls dress up as “Betty” dolls for the robbery; Mattel obviously wouldn’t let them use Barbie).