[box cover]

Drive Me Crazy

Nicole Maris (Melissa Joan Hart) is the sort of girl in high school you really didn't like — socially secure, in groove with the cliques, and heavy into activities. But preppy Nicole, who is developing the Centennial Ball for the school's 100-year anniversary, fails to land her fave jock as her date at what will be the event of the year, causing her to turn to her grungy, rebellious neighbor and classmate Chase Hammond (Adrian Grenier) to plot a jealousy trap. As it happens, Chase recently split with his activist girlfriend and is willing to take on the role of Nicole's boyfriend for his own ends as well — and with a setup like that, you don't need an AAA road-map to see where Drive Me Crazy is headed (um, the same place as She's All That and 10 Things I Hate About You). However, despite the sheer predictability of the proceedings, Drive Me Crazy has its merits. Both Hart and Grenier are charismatic leads, and there is an odd sophistication in their performances that tempts the viewer to think this is a twentysomething comedy rather than the teenage variety. The script sometimes loses its way in its own contrivances (Would a ne'er-do-well slob like Chase really "clean up" to infuriate his ex? Would Nicole really risk her social standing by dating a burnout?), but the swift pacing and consistent, likable performances makes Drive Me Crazy worth watching for those who have enjoyed the recent spate of teenage class-war comedies. Directed by John Schultz. Good transfer, DD 5.1, trailer.

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