These Girls

A "Canadian Graffiti" with girl-power inclinations, this summer-fling comedy turns out to be as generic as its title suggests. Despite an initially amusing premise, teenage sex farce misfires on just about every cylinder, making "These Girls" more likely to turn up on cable than in theaters near you.

With:
With: Caroline Dhavernas, David Boreanaz, Holly Lewis, Amanda Walsh, Colin Berry, Donnell MacKenzie, McKenzi Scott, Lita Llewellyn.

A “Canadian Graffiti” with girl-power inclinations, this summer-fling comedy turns out to be as generic as its title suggests. Despite an initially amusing premise, teenage sex farce misfires on just about every cylinder, making “These Girls” more likely to turn up on cable than in theaters near you.

Pic’s chief deficit is an iffy performance from lead Caroline Dhavernas, who works hard to cover up her French accent, but just ends up sounding smug. Her cat-ate-the-canary facial expressions don’t do much to convey the range of emotions ostensibly felt by Keira, a New Brunswick teen (although the thesp is actually around 27) just before leaving for college in the big city.

Stage-based tale begins with Keira at school explaining, in voiceover, what happened that summer — a device that adds nothing to the narrative and is only vaguely repeated.

Antics in question revolve around her best pals, teen queen Glory (former veejay Amanda Walsh) and Christian good girl Lisa (Holly Lewis, whose goofy radiance steals every scene she’s in) and their decision to share the hunky charms of a local stud-muffin played by the tube’s David Boreanaz, who does little to expand his resume here.

Sophomore helmer-scripter John Hazlett has neglected to give this married biker a personality, and Keira doesn’t fare much better, as she waffles between prideful vamping and querulous indecision, with little indication of what her interests or talents might be. Subplots with local boys, including a mentally challenged kid who’s handed some comic-relief chores, feel tacked on.

Good use of little-known Acadian locations brightens things up on the tech side, but overall feel is pedestrian.

These Girls

Canada

Production: A Seville presentation (in Canada) of a Prods. Jeux d'Ombres (Montreal) production, in association with Telefilm Canada. (International sales: Seville Intl., Montreal.) Produced by Sam Grana, Anne-Marie Gelinas, John Hazlett, Andrew Noble. Executive producer, John Hamilton. Directed, written by John Hazlett, based on a play by Vivienne Laxdal.

Crew: Camera (color), Alex Vendler; editor, Benjamin Duffield; music, Ned Bouhalassa, Polo, Peter Hay; production designer, Paryse Normandeau; sound (Dolby), Sylvain Bellemare, Luc Boudrias; casting, Donna Rae Gibbs. Reviewed on DVD, Sept. 9, 2005. (In Toronto Film Festival -- Canada First) Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Caroline Dhavernas, David Boreanaz, Holly Lewis, Amanda Walsh, Colin Berry, Donnell MacKenzie, McKenzi Scott, Lita Llewellyn.

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