FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY

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*Ruthless Disclaimer*

Dear Readers,

From time to time we ask truly horrible things of our writers. Some of them have seen Crossroads or worse. However, we strongly feel that Matt Cale has gone way above and far beyond the call of duty by actually spending his own money on this piece of crap film. Aside from the psychological damage… well, actually, all we are talking about here is the psychological scaring. Anyhow, you should all write Matt thank you notes after you read his review. Or just send money. For he truly suffered for you. And unlike Christ, Matt could actually use the money.


When the book of my life is written and I am required to reveal the exact moment when I made the conversion to full-blown, salad-tossing homosexuality, there will be little hesitation as I repeat the line I uttered this very night: “Two for From Justin to Kelly, please.” Please — as if I should be courteous in advance for paying good money to see a film so reprehensible and so god-awful that it wasn’t even screened for critics. But was such a thing even necessary? Is there any doubt that there will be two equally passionate camps — those who insist that only a second term of Bush could be as cataclysmic for the state of mankind, and those who, like Kelly Clarkson herself, whine that it’s just a summer musical and people need to loosen up and have fun? Oh, I was loose. And no, I didn’t have a minute of fun. Except for that brief giggling fit during the opening credits when I realized that I had just spent $16 of hard-earned cash just so I could write a scathing review for this website. The things I do for Jonny. And we’re not even dating.

Check out the Anorexic cowgirl. Sexy, no? Oh right, no.

The “story”, shockingly enough, involves three girlfriends who leave Texas for a spring break in Miami. On the flip side, three guy friends (to be fair, I should say boyfriends, since all guys who travel together share secret, unspoken homoerotic longings…..or at least that’s what my therapist tells me) cruise the beach for chicks. Kelly is the “good one” of her group, which means that she is bland, vapid, and wouldn’t think of taking a strange cock up her ass. She is joined by the token black girl (who is called “the smart one,” for reasons that are made abundantly clear as long as you suspend every ounce of disbelief) and “the bitch,” who we know is a bitch because she is blond and has an accent. For the guys, there is Justin, an ex-player who is looking for a nice girl this time around, the token nerd (who is in Miami to meet his internet love), and the musclehead, who takes off his shirt at every opportunity and eventually hooks up with the lady cop who keeps issuing him citations. Needless to say, Justin and Kelly fall instantly in love, if for no other reason than they are both unable to speak complete sentences. They go on boat rides, stare longingly at each other, and break up at least three separate times as the typical misunderstandings block their destiny. Do I need to mention that the bitchy blond gets jealous and tries to steal Justin? Yes, it’s as terrifically uninteresting as it sounds. Even more so. All is chaste and pure as no intoxicating liquids are imbibed, and all clothing remains firmly on (which is just as well considering most of the women are flat-chested). I’m still trying to remember if they even touched each other.

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The guy on the far right is actually named “Kato Bonner”

And lest I forget, there are musical numbers in this fiasco, perhaps as many as ten. The songs are as instantly forgettable as the swill we all heard on American Idol (not like I ever watched…ahem), although the soundtrack will no doubt sell in the millions. I suppose the two leads can sing, but it is impossible for me to tell as all manufactured pop sounds the same to these ears. But is this shit fun, even on the same level as a Showgirls or Swept Away? Alas, it is not. While those films had me red-faced with anger (and giddy with guilty joy), I was little more than indifferent throughout From Justin to Kelly. It sucked big time to be sure, but I wasn’t ready to storm the gates after the lights went up. What we have here are merely two people who do not deserve an ounce of celebrity or fortune, forced to make a 90 minute infomercial for their bland music. Young American girls seem to eat this shit up, and since they can barely read, spend most of their time counting down until their first teenage pregnancy, and have no other ambition than to feed the fires of those who silently applaud China’s policy toward female youngsters (ahem, again), it seems right that they will make this a modest hit. They deserve it.

Some have said From Justin to Kelly. is our Grease, as if that film should be the standard by which we judge the summer musical. I’m no fan of Grease, but that film is Cabaret compared to this piece of inane fluff. After all, we still remember the characters and songs from Grease to this day. Not only will no one be lip-synching to Kelly Clarkson twenty-five years hence, there is little chance that she’ll survive the year. Kelly Clarkson was created and shaped to make a few tone-deaf white guys millions of dollars, only to be discarded, humiliated, and shipped back to Texas as a big-haired waitress with nothing but memories of “those Idol days.” And no, it is not enough that she wasn’t as bad an actress as I expected her to be. A Razzie may not come calling, but I still expect even a rank amateur to rise above the level of reading cue cards.

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You decide who sucks more cock (Hint: It’s Justin)

So there it is. I went to this film on opening night expecting to fire a bullet into my skull, and I leave only with a desire to take a few dozen sleeping pills. The full weight of my hatred, which I expected to channel quite effortlessly as I began typing this review, has given way to a trance-like stupefaction. I watched the beautiful people sing, dance, hold hands, and play with large inflatable balls. I watched the filmmakers try to sell me a version of Miami that exists in reality only if you forget about hundreds of thousands of sadistic, lip-smacking Cubans and the bloated, bullet-ridden victims of organized crime. I watched bright colors, crashing waves, hovercraft races, volleyball matches, pool parties, and rippled chests. Yes, it was extraordinarily gay. And I was there, cursing but comfortable.

Special Ruthless Reviews

  • Number of seconds it took me to realize that I was the only male in the theater: 3
  • Number of times I realized that even that won’t hold up if I keep seeing films like this one: 6
  • Number of tight-assed female cops who turn out to be gorgeous, long-haired vixens: 1
  • Number of comparable women in the real world, once the beefy, Jack Lambert-y lesbians are removed from the equation: 0
  • Number of films I’ve seen this year that are worse than From Justin to Kelly: 2
  • Number of times I thought this would be impossible without the release of an Adam Sandler film: 9
  • Number of days it may take for Jonny to forgive me for seeing this film: 6
  • Number of days to be added to that figure after he learns that I saw Winged Migration the next day: 11

About Matt

Matt is the site’s Longest Serving Critic and chief misanthrope. He divides his time between classics of cinema and the most ridiculous movies he can find on Redbox.
Follow Matt: @mattcale52