Monte Carlo (2011)

Author Clayton Crooks
Sun 3 Jul 11
/ 5
N/A

When watching Monte Carlo, I think it's important to take it for what it is -- a safe movie made for 12 year old girls. That's not a bad thing, and if there are parents still out there who like to protect their kid's innocence, this is a movie both of you can enjoy. If you don't have young children, you can certainly appreciate that wholesome movies continue to be made.

Selena Gomez plays Grace, an unpopular diner waitress and a recent high school grad. She's been planning a big trip to Paris, saving every penny she has to escape the last four years of high school drudgery. She has plans to go with her best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) and, at her parents last minute request, her uptight step sister Meg (Leighton Meester) is added to the mix to act as a sort of chaperone.

They land in Paris and begin a tour that was chosen by Grace. The City of Lights is nothing like they imagined because the tour has them running around and trying to see everything. They literally spend minutes at each destination and drive by others so quickly they can't even see them. The hotel they are staying in is a dump, and just when they think it can't get any worse, their tour bus leaves them at the Eiffel Tour as it attempts to keep up with the hectic schedule. As they walk back to their hotel, it begins to rain and they duck in to an upscale hotel to get out of the weather and dry off. A British heiress named Cordelia (also played by Selena) is staying at the hotel and looks exactly like Grace. The hotel staff mistakes Grace for the heiress and they decide to take advantage of the opportunity and spend the night in the luxury hotel.

They are awakened by their hotel phone ringing and informing them their ride is waiting to take them to the airport for a private plane trip to Monte Carlo. From here, everything happens very quickly. They all meet their "perfect" men within about 30 seconds of landing. Grace is smitten with the son of the family that is playing host to a charity event that she has to go to as Cordelia. The charity is raising money for orphanages/schools in Africa and Romania which is something Grace is supportive of. Meg runs into a carefree Australian who is backpacking his way through the world. She runs into him, not once, not twice, but three times and even in two different countries. Emma gets a date with a prince.

Each of the men have exactly the qualities they need to help them find themselves. Meg learns to not be so uptight with the help of the carefree Australian Riley (Luke Bracey). Emma decides her small town Texas life and boyfriend Owen (Cory Monteith) are actually what she wants after her date, Prince Domenico de Silvano (Giulio Berruti), is rude to a waitress on a yacht. Grace is the dreamer of the group and finds her calling in helping others. I won't go into exact details for the ending, but I think you can see where this is going.

The music of the movie made absolutely no sense and was something that was disappointing to say the least. When you have a movie starring not one, but two of the most popular pop artists of their generation, why would you decide to put in a soundtrack that seems more appropriate for the Disney classic "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo"? I kept watching for Herbie to make an appearance but he never did. It was a terrible decision and made little sense especially when you consider the talent that was available. The soundtrack is so poorly conceived that I think it may be one of the few times I have been distracted by music to the point that it takes away from the movie. 

As we leave a theater, I have a tendency to watch the reaction of others and listen in on their conversations as a way of gauging their opinions of the movies. I overheard a young girl talking excitedly with her mother, and she said enthusiasticaly that is was, "my new favorite movie." The mother responded with, "Mine too." Soundtrack aside, the movie is exactly what I expected. Nothing more or less. If you have young girls that would enjoy a visit to the movies, this is a good and safe one to take them to.

Monte Carlo Movie Trailer:

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Monte Carlo Credits:

Director: Thomas Bezucha

Writers: Thomas Bezucha (screenplay), April Blair (screenplay)

Stars: Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy

Cast: 

Selena Gomez: Grace / Cordelia Winthrop Scott 

 Katie Cassidy: Emma 

 Leighton Meester: Meg 

 Cory Monteith: Owen 

 Andie MacDowell: Pam 

Brett Cullen: Robert 

Amanda Fairbank-Hynes: Amanda 

Joe Camp III: Carl at Diner 

Luke Bracey: Riley 

Valérie Lemercier: Madame Valerie 

Franck de la Personne: Manager at Grand Belle 

Máté Haumann: Concierge at Grand Belle 

István Göz: Doorman at Grand Belle 

Attila Árpa: Security at Grand Belle 

Joël Lefrançois: Manager at Le Petite Sommeil

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