Title: Wild Child
Actor: Emma Roberts, Aidan Quinn, Natasha Richardson, Shirley Henderson
Director: Nicholas Moore
Not to be confused with the 1970 film of the same name starring Jean-Pierre Cargol as Victor, l'enfant sauvage, this particular Wild Child is no doubt mostly aimed at teens, but it’s actually surprisingly watchable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to make my top ten of the year, but for a teen movie it does have some entertaining bits and some likable performances – especially from Emma Roberts.
Roberts’ character, Poppy, a fairly typical American teenager begins the film as a spoilt brat, doing whatever she wants, whenever she wants without a thought for the consequences. Her father sends her to boarding school in England (to a school that her mother had attended and been the Lacrosse captain at). Naturally she hates it. She is an outsider, unfamiliar with England customs and the rules and regulations of the school, which she flaunts at every opportunity. Of course as she learns to accept her new surroundings and begins to make friends her personality changes and she becomes a much nicer, better person.
It’s a well worn plot but Roberts handles the material well and her supporting cast produce reasonably likeable and accomplished performances. It’s not the success that a film such as Mean Girls was, it’s less humorous. The jokes are daft as opposed to the acerbic humour of Mean Girls. It’s more like St Trinnians only slightly better.
The direction and editing is acceptable for this sort of film, nothing too flashy apart from a few camera tricks during a triumphant, climactic lacrosse game.
Overall this film is watchable. It’s honest in what it’s trying to do. It’s just another teen movie and it’s not trying to be anything else. But it has a certain likeability and warmth. It’s inoffensive and reasonably funny without having to resort to gross-out humour or anything too over the top. Teenage girls will enjoy the montages of the girls getting dressed up for the dance and will no doubt enjoy drooling over the foppish young male lead character.
There are a few special features on the DVD including a number of featurettes focussing on different aspects such as the Making Of Wild Child, Head Girl Tour, School Memories and Lacrosse as well an a few deleted scenes. Nothing that really stands out but nothing that really irritates either. The quality of the Blu-ray image is good.