Pretty Persuasion

2005

Pretty Persuasion

Critics Consensus

Pretty Persuasion aims for high satire but falls short of poignancy by depending on too much black humor, with too little redeeming humanity to provide balance.

32%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 77

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,634
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Movie Info

One of the "popular girls" decides to put her mean streak to work in this black comedy. Kimberly Joyce (Evan Rachel Wood) is an outwardly friendly but inwardly cold and manipulative teenager who attends an exclusive private school in Beverly Hills when she's not making fun of her twentysomething stepmother (Jaime King) or listening to her business mogul father (James Woods) rant about the many people he hates. Kimberly's best friend is Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois), who doesn't seem to notice that Kimberly holds a bit of a grudge over the fact Brittany is now dating Troy (Stark Sands), Kimberly's former boyfriend. When Randa (Adi Schnall), an exchange student from the Middle East, arrives at school, Kimberly is asked to show her around, and soon she's giving her the inside scoop on the school's social hierarchy. Kimberly, Brittany, and Randa, like most of the girls at school, don't much care for Mr. Anderson (Ron Livingston), a teacher who doesn't make much of a secret of his lust for the female student body, though he doesn't do much besides look. Kimberly decides to do something about Mr. Anderson by fabricating a story that he has had inappropriate contact with her, Brittany, and Randa, and it doesn't take long for the matter to become a local scandal, though it does end up backfiring on Kimberly in time. Pretty Persuasion also features supporting performances from Selma Blair, Jane Krakowski, and Michael Hitchcock.

Cast

Evan Rachel Wood
as Kimberly Joyce
Ron Livingston
as Percy Anderson
James Woods
as Hank Joyce
Jane Krakowski
as Emily Klein
Elisabeth Harnois
as Brittany Wells
Selma Blair
as Grace Anderson
Jaime King
as Kathy Joyce
Adi Schnall
as Randa Azzouni
Veena Bidasha
as Mrs. Azzouni
Logan Harrington
as Jewish Boy No. 2
Michael Hitchcock
as Headmaster Charles Meyer
Robert Joy
as Larry Horowitz
Clyde Kusatsu
as Judge Carl Munro
Johnny Lewis
as Warren Prescott
Amber Matthews
as High School Girl
David C. Taylor
as Carlyle Cream
Lisa Arturo
as Stephanie Swift
Navid Negahban
as Mr. Azzouni
Shanna Olson
as Tiffany Minx
James Snyder
as Dave Evadsti
Perry Hayes
as Sound Guy
Christopher Thornton
as Emmett Friedman
Julie Wittner
as Bystander
Aydiee Vaughn
as Bystander
Ira Wood
as Martin
Josh Zuckerman
as Josh Horowitz
View All

Critic Reviews for Pretty Persuasion

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (52)

Audience Reviews for Pretty Persuasion

  • Aug 19, 2016
    Wood was amazing in this; however, the movie itself was not good.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2010
    <i>"Evil comes in a school uniform."</i> A 15-year-old girl incites chaos among her friends and a media frenzy when she accuses her drama teacher of sexual harassment. <center><font size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook"><b><u>REVIEW</u></b></font></center> The first feature film from director Marcos Siega is off beat as both a comedy and drama. The viewer finds himself in situations of uncomfortable, guilty laughter while at the same time mesmerized by the social topics and excellent acting. The cadence of the dialogue is beyond description and is perfectly displayed at the dinner table with Evan Rachel Woods, her dad played by an over the top James Woods and her new step mom. The family dog plays a big part in the "conversation". The heart of the story is the devilishly orchestrated false (or are they?) accusations of sexual harassment against drama teacher Ron Livingston. With so many different agendas at play, we can't help but be drawn into to this story on many levels. Jane Krakowski shows a real Priscilla Presley side as the lesbian, glory-hound reporter. Selma Blair is terrific as Livingston's semi-supportive wife. Make no mistake, the real star of the film, and the reason it works is the extraordinary talents of Evan Rachel Wood. Wood takes teen ego and self-centeredness and revenge to a whole new level. As one of the male teacher's states, her character is the devil. Watching how she manipulates her friends, teachers, boys and adults is quite the guilty pleasure. Very few actresses her age could pull off the role of this complex character.
    Lorenzo v Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2010
    And this is why i love Evan Rachel Wood, she isn't just young, talented, and breath - taking'ly gorgeous, she is the bitch! Pretty Persuasion revolves around a smart, cunning, not racist high school girl, who plot her plan in such a way that you can't help just love her, well at least I do. She create a media frenzy, with her friend's saying that their English / Drama teacher sexualy harrassed them. Is it true? Or is she just making it up for..?. Of course It doesn't have moral plot, it's just those kinda movie with dark humor, twist events, and challenging cast. The movie wouldn't be the same without Evan Rachel Wood, she is truly a star here. You will see, why she turned out this way, and the ending just open whole lot of interpretation; what ever suits you best. Other cast did good too, most noticable is Jane Krakowski from <i> The Office </i> <i>Kimberly Joyce: I have respect for all races, but I'm very glad that I was born white. As a woman, it's the best race to be. Especially if you want to become an actress, like I do. [pause] Kimberly Joyce: If I wasn't white, then the next thing I would wanna be is Asian because a lot of men like Asian girls because they think they're docile and subservient and sweet which I don't really think is true because I once met this Asian girl at summer camp one time and she was a real bitch. [pause] Kimberly Joyce: If I couldn't be white and I also couldn't be Asian, then my third choice would be African-American because I've always wanted to be a gospel singer and also, black men are more forgiving if your butt gets big. Except I'd definitely want light skin and Caucasian features like... Vanessa Williams or Halle Berry. And finally, you know, no offense or anything Randa, but my very last choice would be Arab. I mean, truth be told you're not in a very enviable position. There's a lot of resentment in this country toward the Middle East and there's a lot of stereotypes floating around which I don't think are true because in the short amount of time I've known you, you haven't tried to bomb anybody and you currently smell okay to me. </i> 8/10
    Cancelled U Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2009
    Black comedy/drama with Evan Rachel Wood as a manipulative high school girl who persuades two friends to accuse a male teacher of sexual harrassment. As the film goes on we find out Wood's character is pretty evil and being a bitch. Why, we don't know until the end but its often funny and sometimes offensive finding out! With Evan Rachel Wood giving another great performance and also a brilliant supporting role from James Woods. Good script and story. Well acted. Worth a look.
    Adam M Super Reviewer

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