Drive Me Crazy Movie Review

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Traffic advisory: Plan alternate box office route to bypass Drive Me Crazy and gridlock of crazed teens. At the screening I attended, it would have been easier to find a share of an Internet IPO stock than an open seat (I doubt the stingiest broker you know could be more ruthless than the giddy girls saving seats for their friends). If this romantic comedy is successful, chalk up another victory for marketing and another loss for pop culture.

A more appropriate title for Drive Me Crazy would be "Highway Through Nebraska" -- the plot is flat, has no turns, and is completely devoid of scenery. At least this boring ride only lasts 90 minutes. In this rehashed tale of teen angst, next door neighbors Nicole Maris (Melissa Joan Hart - Can't Hardly Wait, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Clarissa Explains It All) and Chase Hammond (Adrian Grenier - Celebrity, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole) are neighbors with almost nothing in common. She's "in," he's in the alternative crowd. When the star of the basketball team snubs her affection and he gets dumped, they find common ground in a plot to scam everyone into thinking they are an item. If the plan works, they hope their ex-loves will come crawling back. Hmmm, care to take a wild guess what happens?

Chase Hammond did a fair job with his role, though the performances as a whole were barely lukewarm. Susan May Pratt's depiction of Nicole's backstabbing friend provides a mild respite from Drive's many pitfalls, including a soundtrack starring The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. (In fact, the film was retitled from Next To You to coincide with the Britney song of the same name...)

If you want to relive the adolescent experience of feeling trapped in a situation you think will never end, Drive Me Crazy can take you there. Unfortunately, this is a result of the film's painfully slow and obvious development, awkward performances, and completely unoriginal script. Even Clarissa can't explain how a movie this bad made it to the screen.

But we are driven to alcoholism.

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Drive Me Crazy Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 1999

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