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DVD Review: Monte Carlo

October 18, 2011

Monte Carlo – A 20th Century Fox Release

http://montecarlothemovie.com

DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2011

Rated G for brief mild language

Running time: 109 minutes

Thomas Bezucha (dir.)

Thomas Bezucha (screenplay)

April Blair (screenplay)

Maria Maggenti (screenplay)

Based on the novel Headhunters by Jules Bass

Michael Giacchino (music)

Selena Gomez as Grace / Cordelia Winthrop Scott

Katie Cassidy as Emma

Leighton Meester as Meg

Cory Monteith as Owen

Our reviews below:

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Monte Carlo DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Grace (Selena Gomez), Emma (Katie Cassidy) and Meg (Leighton Meester) are finally realizing their dream of vacationing in Paris.  But after Grace is mistaken for the very rich and pampered Cordelia Winthrop Scott (also Gomez), the three girls are whisked off to Monte Carlo.  Playing dress up with designer clothes and jewelry, the three protagonists travel around trying to keep up appearances and stay out of the public spotlight.

The movie grows more predictable with each implausible and contrived twist in the plot, and adults will know where the film is going right from the opening scene.  The 109-minute journey of getting there also isn’t entirely engaging.  But the scenery is nice to watch and the film is backed up by a lively score from Michael Giacchino.  In the end, Monte Carlo does its job to provide innocent and entirely harmless entertainment for the tweenaged girls who will inevitably enjoy it.

The Blu-ray includes deleted scenes and several featurettes.

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Monte Carlo DVD Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based off of The Prince & the Pauper premise, Monte Carlo is about a 17-year-old named Grace (Selena Gomez) who after graduating from high school goes on her dream trip that she’s been saving up for to Paris.  Wanting to go only with her friend Emma (Katie Cassidy), she is unpleasantly surprised that her parents have invited (or rather told) her ‘sensible’ step-sister Meg (Leighton Meester) to go with her to keep an eye on things.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start as they don’t get along and get left behind by their tour bus group, leaving them stranded in the pouring rain.  Going inside a fancy hotel to wait out the rain, Grace is mistaken for the famous and snobby Cordelia Winthrop-Scott (also Selena Gomez) by hotel staff.  As the real Cordelia has taken off to avoid a charity function, Grace gets away with it for at first, and takes Cordelia’s place at the function in Monte Carlo, and for a while at least, the three girls are having the vacation of their lives.  But impersonating Cordelia can only last so long, and Grace starts to feel the burden as she begins to fall in love with someone who thinks she is someone else.

The film is fine for its target audience.  I personally found it a little bit on the long side, but the story is sweet and innocent and the acting fine for the roles.  Gomez does a fine job creating the two characters’ personalities.  It is predictable, although entertaining enough.  And I must say that young girls who are Selena Gomez’s fans are going to love watching this one.

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Monte Carlo DVD Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Loosely inspired by The Prince and the Pauper, Monte Carlo is a fun kids movie that will entertain 8-12 year old girls.  Grace (Selena Gomez) is an ordinary girl.  When she graduates from high school, she invites her friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) to Paris.  Grace’s father insists that her step-sister Meg (Leighton Meester) come along too.  When they arrive, they stumble across a young celebrity who looks identical to Grace.  Her name is Cordelia Winthrop Scott (also played by Selena Gomez), and she is snobbish and demanding.  When Grace is mistaken for Cordelia, the three friends end up on an unforgettable journey to Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo is a charming film.  There is everything in here that preteen girls would enjoy, such as romance, beautiful scenery, fancy dresses and lots of adventure.  One might wonder how nobody notices that Grace keeps forgetting Cordelia’s English accent, but like the rest of the film, you take this for granted.  Michael Giacchino provides a fun score for this rather likable movie.  Glee’s Cory Monteith plays a funny role as Emma’s simple boyfriend, and the rest of the cast is also good.  While it won’t win any Oscars, there is nothing objectionable about this kids flick.  Monte Carlo would make a great sleepover movie, that parents can enjoy as well.

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Monte Carlo DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

It’s often said that everyone has a double somewhere in the world.  What luck if your double turns out to be rich and famous and you get the chance to switch places.  That’s the premise of Monte Carlo, a sweet but predictable movie mainly for the 8-12 year old girls.  Grace (Selena Gomez) is graduating from high school and has been saving money from her waitressing job for a post-graduation trip to Paris.  Joining her on the trip are her best friend and fellow waitress, Emma (Katie Cassidy) and Grace’s step-sister, Meg (Leighton Meester).

The trip to Paris is not as much fun as they imagined with a too tightly scheduled tour guide running things.  When the three girls find themselves separated from the group, they take refuge from the rain in a fancy Paris hotel.  It’s there that Grace is mistaken for a rich and spoiled young British heiress, Cordelia (also played by Selena Gomez).  Sensing the opportunity for some much-needed adventure, the trio decide to go along with the mistaken identity and follow Cordelia’s itinerary which includes an important fundraiser ball in Monte Carlo.  The time there allows the girls to live like princesses and each of them in turn must meet their handsome princes.  The conclusion is fairly predictable, yet innocently sweet.

Young Selena Gomez fans will likely find Monte Carlo to be charming and entertaining.  The acting is decent from all involved, the story is easy to follow, Michael Giacchino’s score is wonderful, and the scenery is pleasant to watch.  In other words, this is a fairly harmless choice for movie/sleepover night.  Whether you rent it or buy it, Monte Carlo is worth checking out on DVD if your household includes young fans of Selena Gomez.

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Monte Carlo DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Grace (Selena Gomez) is about to graduate from her small town Texas high school and take the one week Paris tour she has been saving up for. Emma (Katie Cassidy) is a high school dropout working as a waitress with Grace, about to share her life with local boy Owen (Cory Monteith) in a house with dimmer switches just like the rich folks. Meg (Leighton Meester), a former classmate of Emma, is 21 in college, still mourning the loss of her mother. Meg’s father (Brett Cullen), remarried to Grace’s mother (Andie MacDowell), invites Meg and Emma to accompany Grace on her trip.

The Paris tour is disappointing, with the three sharing a tiny room and being rushed through tourist sites by an indifferent guide. Missing the tour bus and caught in the rain, they take shelter in a posh hotel where Grace is mistaken for the spoiled English heiress Cordelia Winthrop Scott (Gomez), who has bailed on a charity auction. The three are whisked off in a private jet as guests of a wealthy philanthropist and his very eligible son Theo (Pierre Boulanger) to Monte Carlo where Cordelia’s Bvlgari necklace is to be auctioned off for millions of Euros to support the poor kids of Romania. Though almost overwhelmed by all the opulence and glamour, the three may just pull it off. Meanwhile Owen comes to Europe to check up on Emma, who is hanging out with a prince. Meg hooks up with Kyle (Luke Bracey), an Australian rugby player that she met in Paris. The sweet and grounded Grace (as Cordelia) is a pleasant surprise for her escort Theo. Things almost fall apart when the real Cordelia shows up, but it all works out well in the end.

Monte Carlo will be enjoyed by its target audience of young adolescent and pre-adolescent girls, as well as boys who come along for the view. The princess fantasy of dressing up in beautiful locations is fulfilled in a story which though predictable is always fun and never offensive. Co-written and directed by Thomas Bezucha, it is competently filmed with an attractive cast, mainly on location in Hungary aside from the necessary French exterior shots.

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Consensus: Although Monte Carlo is predictable, it features fine leading performances from a cast headed by Selena Gomez, as well as nice scenery and a simple story that will innocently entertain its target audience of pre-teen girls.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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