The Good

An uplifting film with a strong message.

The Bad

Why is Lukas Haas in this movie?

Material Girls tells the story of the Marchetta Sisters, two girls with a lot of money, not a lot to do... and then they lose it all. Inheritors of their father's cosmetic company, these two are living the glamour lifestyle and then a scandal rocks their company and they are both suddenly in the poorhouse. At this point, the film becomes about the girls realizing that there's more to life than parties and money, and everything ends on an uplifting note as it usually does in these films. The high point is of course the one actress they hired to give this film some legitimacy, Angelica Houston in the role of Fabiella.

Features

Commentary Track

Martha Coolidge, bless her heart, seems to have done the best work she could with what she was given. I have to give her high marks on this commentary because she did direct Valley Girl and Real Genius. While we might not be talking about things that are cinematic masterworks, she really gave those films their own style and flair, and that's just not on display in Material Girls. She seems to have tried to make a good movie, her intentions, motivations, and anecdotes are all charming, but I just wish she would not have been the helmer behind this project.

Hilary Duff "Play with Fire" Music Video

Getting to Know Hilary and Haylie as the Marchetta Sisters and a Material Girls Making Of

I grouped these two featurettes together because I think that's how they should have been edited to begin with. The Getting to Know Hilary and Haylie as the Marchetta Sisters has the actresses talking about their roles, why they wanted to play them, and what they think the message of this story is. The Making Of also covers similar ground, we just hear from more of the talent, and the behind the scenes people that helped get the project off the ground. Fans of the Duff sisters will probably really enjoy going through these bonus features, personally, I think with these two actresses, if you have seen them in one featurette you've seen all you need to see.

Video

One can watchMaterial Girls in Full Screen - 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio or Widescreen 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. I chose to watch it Widescreen. There isn't anything that amazing about the way this movie looks but the look of a film has never been a Martha Coolidge trademark. She just always seems to have captured something unique in the films of hers that I've liked. On DVD, Material Girls looks very solid, and that makes sense because this film only recently came out in theaters. That said, I just wished the movie had felt real.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English 5.1 Dolby Surround. Spanish and French Dolby Surround. Close Captioned. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Like a lot of these kinds of movie, the audio gave the tone of the piece a nice simplistic feel. I never felt that we learned anything about the characters through the audio, but I do think that for simply underscoring the action on screen it played quite nicely.

Package

The front cover has a completely Photoshopped image of Haylie and Hilary walking in the city. The back shows some images from the movie, and mixed in with various cosmetics is a description of what this film is about, a Special Features listing, a credits list, and some system specs. Interestingly, the pictures of Hilary and Haylie look like they were taken when the two of them were just hanging out having fun.

Final Word

Okay, I just think this movie is insulting for a number of reasons. First off, there are people in this country who are going through some very real financial hardships and I think a movie like this is almost in bad taste. These girls just seem to be paying lip service to the whole idea of being broke, and when you realize this movie is simply to get a few bucks out of the American consumer, it starts to almost make you angry.

Hilary, it is time to start doing different kinds of movies. I am not saying you should play a transvestite or lesbian (lord knows, I don't think people would buy you as that), but you need to do something that has more teeth. I heard you talking in a magazine about playing certain risqué roles and you asked, "What would that do to my base?" Okay, you're almost 20, I appreciate the business savvy, but you're reaching a point where you need to stretch yourself as a performer. Mark my words, I have a feeling you're going to realize this but by then it will be too late. Just look at Anne Hathaway's career and follow that.

I am sorry, I just didn't care for Material Girls which sadly tells you all you need to know by it's title.

Material Girls was released August 18, 2006.