Drive Me Crazy

on October 01, 1999 by Bridget Byrne
   Rob Thomas' screenplay for "Drive Me Crazy" is based on a novel titled "How I Created My Perfect Prom Date." That about says it all for this latest variation on an overworked theme, although the dance has been upgraded in this instance to a gala millennial bash. Billed as a romantic comedy, the movie is not particularly romantic and rarely funny. Aimed to please a young teen audience, it stars Melissa Joan Hart in a role for which she (despite her status as TV's "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") is clearly too old. Although she works earnestly in her mannered but not unappealing way to bring validity to her portrayal of a serious-minded high-schooler keen on the status quo, she can't provide the emotion the storyline lacks.
   As the boy-next-door who's attracted to the counterculture but unable to commit fully to its consequences, Adrian Grenier ("The Adventures of Sebastian Cole") is cute but never troubled enough to make his return to the fold any real surprise. Surrounding this pair is a collection of standard characters including absentee or self-involved parents, dumb and crass jocks, scheming beauties and needy nerds.
   The movie is never silly--a relief in a genre which too often succumbs to coarse humor--and it does attempt to portray honestly the doubts and joys of modern teenage life and the conflicting desires boys and girls have to overcome in order to relate happily to each other. But its failure lies in the innate blandness of the central couple and the fact that the edgier characters and storylines are on the periphery and thus not full explored. Starring Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier and Stephen Collins. Directed by John Schultz. Written by Rob Thomas. Produced by Amy Robinson. A Fox release. Romantic comedy. Rated PG-13 for teen alcohol and drug use, and for language. Running time: 91 min
Tags: Starring Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier, Stephen Collins. Directed by John Schultz, Written by Rob Thomas, Produced by Amy Robinson, Fox, Romantic comedy

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