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Keith (DVD Review)

4 Jan, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Prebook 1/6/09; Street 2/3/09
$27.98 DVD
Stars Jesse McCartney, Elisabeth Harnois.

Senior year in high school can be a trying time, with hormones, applying to college, scholarships and parental expectations colliding — often within preconceived stereotypes.

Enter Keith (teen pop star McCartney in his first feature film), a mysterious and frequently truant boy partnered with smart and popular Natalie (Harnois) in a chemistry class (a common thread in recent teen films, see Twilight) she must do well in to maintain a Duke-bound G.P.A.

While Natalie stresses about lab notes, a relationship with a handsome Italian classmate and maintaining her state tennis ranking, Keith loves his dated yellow truck and an indifferent approach to school and life that borders on boorish.

“We’re here in a yellow truck, a road ahead of us and nothing but opportunities,” Keith tells Natalie one day after school. His penchant of answering a question with questions only compounds Natalie’s frustration.

As happens in many love stories, however, opposites invariably attract, and Natalie falls for the outsider whose quirky idea of a bowling date involves depositing monogrammed 16-pound balls on people’s doorsteps.

“You don’t care what people think, you’re just you,” she remarks.

Of course there is a pragmatic reason to Keith’s capricious nature, which, thankfully, has nothing to do with vampires or a fixation on graphic novels.

Director Todd Kessler’s first foray into non-children’s fare (he is co-creator of the popular “Blue’s Clues” franchise) works in large part due to a believable script and cast — notably McCartney, who appears eager and capable of shedding his Teen Choice Awards days.

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